Wrongful termination attorneys in Miami help employees who have been fired from their job for a reason that blatantly discriminates against people for age, religion, sexual orientation, gender, race, national origin, or citizenship, among other known protected classes. In addition, Miami employees cannot be terminated or fired for being pregnant, military status, political affiliation, disability, or filing any type of worker’s compensation claim or whistleblower claims. For the past 25 years, the experienced attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group in Miami have helped employees receive the compensation they deserve for their wrongful termination claims.
Wrongful termination in Miami is when an employer fires an employee for an illegal reason. Florida, and in association, Miami, have at-will employment. That means that an employee can be fired for almost any reason. If the employer does not like the employee, he can be fired. If the employer thinks the employee is not a good fit for the company culture, he can be fired. However, he cannot be fired if the reason violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which protects employees from discrimination for the following reasons:
- Age over 40
- National Origin
- Sexual Orientation
The employee cannot be fired if she is pregnant, disabled, or affiliated with a particular political party. Military status and jury duty also cannot be used to fire an employee.
Other issues, such as retaliation for being a whistleblower, filing a worker’s compensation claim, filing a claim for any discriminatory practices, or refusing sexual advances would also be grounds for a wrongful termination claim against the employer.
Finally, if you are a contract employee and do nothing to break the terms of the contract, an employer firing you before the end of the contract is a wrongful termination.
Proving wrongful termination in Miami can be done through different types of evidence.
Direct evidence. Direct evidence is like the “smoking gun.” It is that piece of evidence that everyone hopes they find but is often not the easiest to come by. When it comes to wrongful termination, direct evidence would be when an employer tells you, in writing or verbally, that you are being fired based on discrimination or because you are pregnant, attended jury duty, have to leave for a few weeks for military training, are disabled, or for some retaliatory reason, like refusing sexual advances. The communication can be said directly to you or about you to someone else.
Disparate Evidence. This is evidence is not direct. However, it can be very powerful. For instance, if you can show that you filed a claim for discrimination with HR and then within a few days were fired, you may have disparate evidence. It means that the termination clearly occurred because of discrimination, retaliation, or due to pregnancy, military status, jury duty, or political affiliation. You will need to show that your employer became aware of your condition or position and then fired you within days of becoming aware.
Contract Evidence. This applies to contract employees. If you have an employment contract with a specified end date, your employer cannot fire you prior to the end of the contract, unless you broke the terms of the contract first. Producing the contract and providing evidence that you followed all of the terms of the contract can help you prove wrongful termination in Miami.
Wrongful termination in Miami occurs more often than many people think. It can be subtle or blatant. Some examples of wrongful termination include:
- Retaliation for filing a whistleblower claim
- Retaliation for refusing sexual advances
- Retaliation for filing a complaint with HR
- Firing in violation of federal and state anti-discrimination laws
- Firing as a form of sexual harassment
- Terminating a contract employee prior to the end of the contract terms
- Being told not to come back to work after maternity leave ends
- Being told not to come back to work after finishing jury duty
- Termination on the day you give notice that you have a military training drill for which you will be out two days to attend
- Being told that only Republicans are allowed to work at your location
- Termination because you took off two days for the Jewish holidays
- Termination because you are over 40
- Termination because you married your Gay/Lesbian partner
- Termination because your skin color is too dark or not dark enough
- Termination because you have a thick foreign accent that does not affect your job responsibilities
- Termination because you are African American, and your employer does not work well with African Americans
- Retaliation for filing a worker’s compensation claim
- Termination because you have diabetes and must get monthly doctor’s appointments for testing
- Termination because you have cancer and need to do two months of chemotherapy once a week
- Termination because you refused to participate in illegal or criminal activity
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) handles claims relating to discrimination under Title VII. In the same vein, the Florida Commission on Human Relations (FCHR) handles claims relating to the Florida Civil Rights Act violations in the workplace. Under both of these laws, if you were fired due to discrimination, you have 200 days to file a claim with the EEOC or FCHR for wrongful termination.
If you were fired because you are a whistleblower, you have 2 years to file a lawsuit for wrongful termination.
If you were fired because you refused to participate in criminal activity or there is a claim for willful emotional distress, you have a time limit of 4 years to file a lawsuit for wrongful termination.
Finally, if you are the victim of a breach of contract, you have a time limit of 4 years to file a lawsuit for breaching a verbal contract and 5 years for a written contract.
If you are the victim of wrongful termination in Miami, you may be entitled to compensation and other court remedies, such as:
- Reinstatement of employment and benefits
- Reimbursement of benefit premiums
- Reimbursement of medical and other related expenses
- Attorney’s Fees and court costs
- Back pay
- Future pay
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
A wrongful termination lawsuit can take anywhere from 4 to 6 months to 1 year or more to settle. If the employer is willing to negotiate a fair settlement prior to trial, the case may only take 4 to 6 months to settle. However, if your employer refuses to negotiate a fair settlement then the case would go to trial. Preparing for trial can take 8 months to a year or longer, while the trial can take a few days to a few weeks until a decision is reached.
If you are the victim of wrongful termination, you will want to prepare to file your lawsuit. Some things you can do immediately to help make the process run smoothly are:
- Contact a Miami wrongful termination attorney today
- Gather evidence. It is essential to gather any communications via email, text, or verbal notes that can help prove your case. Gather detailed notes of every incident that may have led to the termination. Make sure to gather information, such as trustworthy witnesses and documentation that may help your case.
- Do not waste time. The courts adhere to strict time limits when it comes to filing a lawsuit for wrongful termination. Do not waste time making your decision because you may lose your opportunity to bring a lawsuit.
Contact Our Experienced Miami Wrongful Termination Attorneys Today for Your Free Consultation
No employee should worry about being fired for doing the right thing or because of discrimination. If you are the victim of wrongful termination in the workplace, the experienced attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group can help. Contact us today at (305) 946-1884 for your free consultation. We do not collect any money until you win your case.