Legal and Illegal Terminations in Florida

While there are legal reasons for terminating employees in Florida, some workers do not realize when they are wrongfully terminated. When any of the types of illegal termination of employment occur, the business has broken a state or federal law that protects workers. Illegal reasons for terminating employees in Florida can include those that are discriminatory or retaliatory. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a federal agency that enforces civil rights for victims of unlawful firings. Workers wrongfully terminated can learn about seeking compensation for illegal firings by clicking here for our free Florida guide. For general information about the legal and illegal reasons for dismissal of employment in Florida, review the following topics:

  • Types of illegal terminations in Florida
  • Types of legal termination in Florida
  • What to do if fired illegally in Florida

Types of Illegal Terminations in Florida

Illegal reasons for dismissal of employment include those that violate the Civil Rights Act. This labor law details the many types of illegal reasons to fire an employee throughout the nation, which include discrimination in the workplace. Since passing in 1964, it is illegal for an employer to terminate an employee for discriminatory reasons. Discriminatory types of illegal termination of employment include those based on the employee's age, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation or genetic makeup. Other illegal reasons for terminating employees in Florida and other states include disability and veteran status.

It is important for terminated employees to understand the specifics of discriminatory firings before accusing an employer. For instance, while age is one of the types of illegal terminations in Florida, this only applies to employees older than 40 years of age. Gender now includes discrimination against men, women and those identifying as transgender. The EEOC considers dismissals based on genetic makeup one of the types of illegal reasons to fire an employee, such as terminating a new employee after discovering a family history of cancer to avoid increased medical costs. The Americans with Disabilities Act protects individuals with disabilities and includes physical and mental impairments. Terminating an employee due to his or her religious beliefs and customs is discriminatory. Illegal reasons for dismissal of employment related to religion include a Muslim woman wearing a burqa in public or a Jewish man wearing a yamaka.

Other types of illegal terminations in Florida include those based on retaliation against the employee. For instance, it is illegal for employers to dismiss a worker with an open lawsuit against the company. This can include sexual harassment and discriminatory cases. Likewise, another type of illegal termination of employment includes those done because an employee refused sexual advances or an employer using his or her status to coerce the employee into trading sexual favors for keeping employment.

The most common types of illegal terminations in Florida are retaliatory for employees reporting illegal activities. Workers who discover direct violations of federal or state laws must first notify their employer or supervisor in writing that an activity or procedure by the company violates the law so they may amend it before the employee can report it to an outside agency. Residents can find out more in our comprehensive guide about filing a discriminatory claim by clicking here.

Types Of Legal Termination In Florida

Many legal reasons for dismissal of employment seem unfair to workers but they are not against the law. These types of legal termination of employment in Florida are usually based on the employee's actions. Legal reasons to fire an employee include issues with performance and misconduct as well as just cause. However, in some cases, these terminated employees are still eligible to collect unemployment benefits from the state and employer.

Types of legal termination in Florida dealing with performance include those mentioned in hiring paperwork and employment guides provided by the company. An individual who is perpetually late or regularly fails to perform the job he or she was hired to do can be dismissed. It is standard among most businesses to first give a verbal warning to the employee in the hopes that they will improve his or her performance. That may or may not be followed by a written warning. The employer has legal reasons to fire an employee who fails to improve within a reasonable time period.

Similarly, legal reasons for dismissal of employment may be for cause, which means there was a specific reason for which workers are being fired. Legal reasons for terminating employees in Florida without giving notice include destruction of company property, theft and violence (especially if it involves threat of bodily harm). This can also include failing a drug test. Likewise, the employer can legally lay off employees when business slows or closes. Employees laid off usually meet the eligibility requirements to collect unemployment.

Other types of legal termination of employment include issues with conduct such as falsifying data on company records, misuse of company property (playing games on internet while working) or insubordination. Intentionally lying on the job application, taking too much time off, violations of company policies or problems in getting along with colleagues are also reasons for legal termination. The previously mention types of legal termination of employment typically apply to at-will employees.

What To Do If Fired Illegally in Florida

While there are many types of illegal terminations in Florida, not all of them are enforceable by the EEOC. If the firing is one of the types of illegal terminations of employment that EEOC handles, workers can pursue a formal discrimination charge. Workers can learn more about the types of terminations in Florida EEOC handles by downloading our comprehensive guide.

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What Assistance Benefits Does the Department of Children and Families Provide?

Various assistance benefits are available to residents of Florida through the Department of Children and Families (DCF). Families can receive benefits that allow them to buy nutritious groceries, save money on school lunch for their children and obtain temporary financial assistance. Additionally, petitioners who qualify for one assistance program are also typically eligible for other benefits in Florida. Find out how to qualify for benefits through Florida's DCF and how to apply for them by downloading our comprehensive guide.


Who Can Receive Assistance Benefits in Florida?

Each assistance program offered through Florida's Department of Children and Families has various eligibility qualifications that petitioners must meet in order to enroll. Household size and income are only a few factors that are typically taken into account. For more details on eligibility for Florida DCF assistance programs, download our guide.