Employee Rights: Debunking Four Of The Most Common Myths About Employment Law In Florida
Hard working employees in Florida rely on their paycheck. Your workplace rights matter. There are many myths and misconceptions about employee rights in Florida. In this article, you will find four of the most common myths about employment law in Florida debunked.
- Myth #1: Florida is an At-Will Employment State, So an Employer Cannot Be Sued for Wrongful Termination
False. While it is true that Florida is an at-will employment state, it is not true that employees are prevented from suing for wrongful termination. The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) notes that the at-will employment standard applies to virtually all states. It holds that an employment relationship is voluntary, unless otherwise specified by a contract. Either party (employer or employee) can end the relationship when they see fit. This means that an employer can terminate a worker without cause. However, employers in Florida cannot terminate an employee for an illegal reason. An employer fired or laid off due to discrimination or retaliation may have a wrongful termination claim.
- Myth #2: Federal Law Provides No Real Protections to Employees in Florida
False. Both federal law and state law matters for employee rights. There are a number of key federal workplace statutes that apply in Florida. Most employees in the state are covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which is the primary federal wage and hour law. Employers with 15 or more workers are covered by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which is the main federal workplace discrimination law.
- Myth #3: You Always Have a Claim Against Your Employer If You are Treated Unfairly
False. Unfortunately, for employees, there is no general federal or state workplace “fairness” law. If you were treated unfairly by an employer in Florida, you may or may not have a legal claim. To be fair, many types of unfair treatment are legally actionable—from unlawful discrimination to improper denial of overtime pay. However, it is possible to be treated unfairly and not have a viable legal claim against an employer.
- Myth #4: When Asked About a Former Employee, Employers Can Only Provide Basic Information, such as Date of Employment
False. There is a common misconception that employers in Florida are restricted from what they can tell other employers when they are contacted as a reference. There is no specific federal law or state law that prohibits an employer or a supervisor from giving an opinion about an employee’s work performance to another employee. Indeed, an employer can even provide derogatory information. However, an employer cannot lie about a former employee to other employers. If an employer lies about a former employee and he or she loses a job opportunity, that may be legally actionable.
Get Help From an Employee Rights Attorney in Florida
Employment law is complicated—but your rights as an employee should not be forced to take a backseat. If you have specific questions about your rights as a worker in Florida, please do not hesitate to reach out to an experienced employment law attorney for guidance and support.