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Retaliatory Discharge

A retaliatory discharge is illegal in Florida and occurs when an employer terminates, dismisses, or fires an employee for reasons other than something related to work performance.

A retaliatory discharge, also known as wrongful termination, usually occurs when an employee is injured on the job and files a workers’ compensation claim.The company, seeking to absolve itself of paying for medical costs, lost wages, and other expenses related to the injury dismisses the employee instead of covering the claim.

Other retaliatory discharges occur when a worker seeks to take advantage of the Federal Family Medical Leave Act.

When a worker reports problems or illegal conditions in the workplace and an employer seeks to silence the complaints by terminating the worker for no just cause, a “whistleblower” case may arise.

Section 440.205 of the Florida Statutes protects Florida workers from retaliatory discharge and provides for penalties for employers who attempt to dismiss employees without cause or employees who engage in legally protected activity.

Attorney for Retaliatory Discharge Cases in Miami, FL

If you were terminated by your employer in retaliation for anything other than work-related performance, you might have a claim for damages regardless of the reason you were dismissed.

Even if you reported or sought action for unlawful workplace practices and filed a claim against an employer that was without merit, a Florida employer cannot dismiss you in retaliation.

If you were terminated, lost your job, or were demoted because you called attention to poor workplace conditions or because you filed a workers’ compensation claim, you may have been dismissed illegally. Certain types of illegal behavior, such as sexual harassment, often result in retaliation. Contact a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney today at The Hoffman Firm to discuss your case.

The attorneys at The Hoffman Firm focus on workers’ compensation law, and we can provide you with important information that may help you recover damages for your on-the-job injury or unlawful termination. We serve clients throughout the City of Aventura, Miami, Miami-Dade County and all surrounding areas throughout South Florida. We also serve clients in Broward County, including Fort Lauderdale, and Palm Beach County, including West Palm Beach.

If you lost your job due to wrongful termination or retaliatory discharge, contact the dedicated attorneys at The Hoffman Firm today. Call us now at (305) 940-2307.

Retaliatory Discharge in Miami, Florida

People get fired every day, but a Florida employer who dismisses an employee solely because that employee filed a workers’ compensation claim is breaking the law.

Under the heading “Coercion of employees,” the Florida Statutes, Title XXXI, Chapter 440, Section 440.205 declare that “[n]o employer shall discharge, threaten to discharge, intimidate, or coerce any employee by reason of such employee’s valid claim for compensation or attempt to claim compensation under the Workers’ Compensation Law.”

In addition, many other federal, state and local laws protect employee rights in the workplace, as well as protecting employees from employer retaliation. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act are among the worker protection laws enacted by Congress to protect workers from unscrupulous employers.

A plaintiff who alleges that his employer terminated his employment in retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim is entitled to proceed to trial. (See Ortega v. Engineering Systems Technology, Inc. (Fla. 3d DCA, Jan. 2010).)

Despite the legal rights guaranteed by F.S. § 440.205, the law does not give an employee the right to be restored to his or her job when he or she returns from leave from a work-related injury. The right to work in a light-duty capacity is also not guaranteed.

Most companies have human resources (HR) departments that serve as a conduit between the employee and the employer. HR professionals should know the workers’ compensation laws and are required to administer them properly and within the law.

Negative employment action is forbidden under Florida law, but companies often attempt to disguise such action under other pretenses. Discriminatory behavior may manifest in any number of ways. Even when an employee is not terminated, a legitimate claim may apply because a worker was passed over for a deserved promotion, or demoted to a lesser position in the aftermath of a conflict.

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Additional Resources

Florida Statutes, Title XXXI, Chapter 440, Section 440.205 — Read the Florida law that addresses coercion by employers against employees.

United States Department of Labor — The DOL is responsible for the fair treatment of employees, job seekers, retirees, and employers. The DOL also enforces more than 180 labor laws that impact more than 125 million workers across the country.

Title 28, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 35, Section 35.134 — The U.S. Code of Federal Regulations provides that no private or public entity shall discriminate against any individual because that individual opposed any unlawful act, or because that individual made a charge, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing; and no private or public entity shall coerce, intimidate, threaten, or interfere with any individual in the exercise or enjoyment of, or on account of his or her having exercised or enjoyed, or on account of his or her having aided or encouraged any other individual in the exercise of enjoyment of, any right granted or protected under law.                                  

Workplace Fairness — A national nonprofit organization, Workplace Fairness grew out of the demand for a commonsense understanding of complex labor law language. Workplace Fairness offers clear and concise information about employee rights along with fostering a community of national advocates.

Finding an Attorney for Retaliatory Discharge in Miami, FL

If you were fired because you sought workers’ compensation benefits, or if you were terminated for an illegal reason in South Florida, contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Miami, FL, who may be able to assist you with your case.

The dedicated attorneys at The Hoffman Firm know Florida’s workers’ comp laws, and they may be able to assist you in recovering benefits from a wrongful termination or retaliatory discharge. It is extremely important for you to discuss your options with a knowledgeable legal professional as soon as possible.

At The Hoffman Firm, we are here to help you when you need help the most. If you were discharged, fired, terminated, or dismissed from your job for retaliatory reasons, your employers took illegal action. The Hoffman Firm can explain your options and the possible benefits that may be available. Contact the capable workers' compensation attorneys at (305) 940-2307 today to discuss the circumstances of your case.

This article was last updated on Tuesday, May 31, 2016.


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Evan A. Hoffman

Evan A. Hoffman

Mr. Hoffman’s philosophy is "our knowledge and experience is your best defense." He has been a featured author on criminal law issues such as driving under the influence, domestic violence and illegal searches.

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