What Exactly Is 'At-Will' Employment?

When many people hear the phrase "at-will employment," they are not exactly sure what it means. Essentially, it boils down to this: If you do not have an employment contract for a specified time period, your boss can fire you for any reason or no reason at all ― although there are several important legal exceptions to this rule.

In fact, just because you are an at-will employee doesn't mean your boss can do anything he or she wants. Even as an at-will employee, you still have certain rights in Florida if your boss wrongfully terminates your employment.

So What Rights Do I Have As An At-Will Employee?

Even without an employment contract, you may still have an employment law claim in several situations under both Florida and federal law.

For instance, if your employer fires you because of your gender, age, race, religion, national origin or disability, you may be able to bring a discrimination suit. However, you don't have to be fired to have a claim for discrimination, so long as you are negatively impacted in some way by the discriminatory actions — such as being denied a promotion. In addition, if you suffer a disability, and ask your employer for a reasonable accommodation, your employer must provide one — although it might not be exactly what you asked for. Also, if your boss makes things so bad for you that you feel you cannot work there any longer, you may also have a claim for constructive termination.

Your employer also cannot retaliate against you if you report discrimination or sexual harassment at work or if you blow the whistle on other illegal activity in the workplace.

We Protect Careers ― We Will Protect You

The attorneys at The Amlong Firm in Fort Lauderdale have been protecting the rights of employees throughout South Florida for decades. In fact, our firm's founders, attorneys Bill Amlong and Karen Coolman Amlong, have more than 65 years of combined legal experience.

Contact us today to schedule a legal consultation. You can email us online or call us at 954-519-2235. Let us help you fight back when employers break the law.