Staff Meeting in Conference Room
04 Aug

What Does an At-Will State Mean in Florida?

Florida is an at-will state. What does that mean or imply? In an at-will state, we assume the employee is working through their own volition, legally termed “at will.” It also means there is no contractual obligation between the Florida employer or employee in the long term.

On that note, let's dive into what it means for Florida to be an at-will state.

Definition of an At-Will State

The following pointers highlight some critical elements of the definition of an at-will state.

  • Any employer is free to fire an employee without showing any cause. However, there are some exceptions.
  • Any employee is free to leave their employer and start another job.
  • Any employer is free to demote or transfer an employee and cut their hours without any cause.

While these laws depict a state of affairs where employment looks to be an easy-come-easy-go situation, there are some exceptions. So let's take a close look at some cases where an employee may have grounds to file a lawsuit against an employer for wrongful termination.

When Can An Employee File a Lawsuit Against their Employer?

Listed below are some cases where an employee could possibly file a lawsuit against their employer.

Case 1: You may be able to file when an employer terminates your service and is also guilty of violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, meaning that the employer participated in harassment or discrimination based on religion, race, color, sex, and national origin.

Case 2: There can also be a case where an employer's established practice is not to terminate people without a cause. It is a case of an implied contract.

Case 3: Suppose an employer fires an employee months before collecting a pension. The employee can retaliate by filing a lawsuit.

Case 4: An employee leaves under the Family Medical Leave Act, for jury duty, or for active military duty. In such cases, if an employer fires an employee, he is open to a lawsuit.

Case 5: Any employer fires an employee in response to an employee's action, such as the report of sexual harassment.

Case 6: An employer has acted as a whistleblower and gone to federal authorities with information about any intentional violation of federal law.

In conclusion, the Florida at-will state means employees and employers are not bound to each other by contract but are working out of their own volition. Some employment may include an employment contract with specific modifications to this “at-will” default, but this is generally reserved for high-level employees. Most employers do not have to give any notice or prior intimation before terminating a person's services, which also means that employees can quit without giving a two-week notice as well.

At Carrillo Injury Law, we support employees who have faced a personal injury or workplace injury. We can help determine the next steps for your legal solutions. Reach out today by emailing