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Florida wrongful termination | Understanding at will employment

In nearly all U.S. states, employment is presumed to be at will. This means that the law empowers both the employee and the employer to change the working relationship any time and without cause. For example, an employer has the right to modify the work schedule or terminate a worker while the employee has the right to leave the job at his or her discretion.

At will employment continues to reign in America because of the nation's respect for freedom of contract and because both employers and workers seem to favor this arrangement. Even though an employer has the right to terminate a worker or change the employment terms without cause, there are some exceptions to this right. These exceptions protect Florida workers from wrongful termination and even workplace discrimination in certain situations.

Here are some situations in which it is against the law to terminate an employee.

-- If the worker refuses to engage in illegal acts

-- If the worker performs duties that are in the public interest such as jury duty or joining the National Guard

-- If the worker reports an employer for violating the law

-- If the employee exercises a statutory right such as filing a workers' compensation claim

In most cases, it is not against the law to terminate an employee. However, when an employer does engage in wrongful activities it is the right of the employee to take action. The road to a successful lawsuit based on a wrongful termination can be fraught with obstacles, but with the help of a knowledgeable employment lawyer, you can be made whole once again.

Source: National Conference of State Legislature, "The At-Will Presumption and Exceptions to the Rule," accessed April 12, 2016

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