At The Amlong Firm in Fort Lauderdale, we understand the law when it comes to wrongful termination claims. Our lawyers have a long history of successful verdicts and settlements when an employment contract has been breached, a binding promise has been broken, a law has been ignored or employers have engaged in unlawfully ugly behavior.
Florida is an employment-at-will state, meaning that if you do not have an employment contract for a definite term, your employer can terminate you for any or no reason, so long as it is not an illegal reason such as discrimination or retaliation. Even if you do not have an employment contract or protected status, however, you may have other remedies under Florida common law, including claims for:
- Tortious interference: This occurs when a third party wrongly persuades someone with whom you have an advantageous business relationship to end that relationship. For example, if your boss at work says awful things about you because you do not return his romantic affections or for another ulterior motive, he ceases to be a legitimate party to the employment relationship. He then becomes a third party and can be sued for interfering with your employment relationship.
- Defamation: Under certain circumstances, Florida recognizes both intracompany defamation (saying ugly things about you to someone at the company where you work) and intercompany defamation (saying ugly things about you to another company). Also, if a supervisor uses his position to put an untruthfully poor evaluation into your file, then you may have a claim against not only the supervisor, but the company, too.
- Misrepresentation: This is often involved in jobs that end badly. It's misrepresentation when an employer lures you away from a high-paying IT job with promises of stock options, intending all along to fire you as soon as you get the new computer network up and running. It's also misrepresentation when a sales manager induces you to come to work by representing that every salesperson makes a six-figure income despite the commission-only pay plan, knowing that it's not true.
Florida law permits employers to protect against unfair competition, but not against all competition. Covenants not to compete, which must be in writing, are limited to situations in which the employer needs to protect legitimate business interests such as long-time relationships with specific customers, unique methods of meeting customers' needs or expertise that an employee has gained solely from specialized training for which the employer has paid. An employer who cannot plead and prove such legitimate business interests, however, cannot prohibit an employee from going to work for a competitor.
The Role Of Employment Contracts In These Claims
Our lawyers often advise clients who have been terminated with or without an employment contract. We also assist employers and employees with disputes involving the interpretation and enforceability of employment contract provisions, including noncompete agreements. In addition, we represent employers and employees in drafting and negotiating underlying employment contracts.
First Step After Wrongful Termination: Contact A Lawyer
If you think your employer has wrongfully terminated you or if you have a dispute about an employment contract or agreement, call 954-519-2235 or fill out our simple contact form. From our office in Fort Lauderdale, our employment law attorneys serve clients throughout South Florida.