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            Valerie Kiffin Lewis Law Firm

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The At Will Employee

What that means to the Florida Employee


Most Florida employees do not know what it means to be an "at will" employee.  Generally, most employees believe that if they are performing and meeting the expectations of their position- they will remain employed until they decide to quit or retire.  It is amazing to me the number of individuals that do not fully understand the principle, and will even strenuously argue that an employer cannot just fire you for no reason.  Unfortunately, that is not the case, but most importantly, not the law in Florida.


Florida is an at-will jurisdiction.  Exactly-what does that mean?  It means that an employer can fire you for reason or for no reason at all.  If, for example, your supervisor woke up one morning on the wrong side of the bed, and as a result, came to work and terminated you and another  employee on his staff, that, under Florida law, may be permissible.  While most everyone would likely agree that his decision (if based solely on him being in a bad mood) was harsh and without justification, it is still not illegal.  Of course, however, there are exceptions to the at will principle.  One exception, for example, is if your supervisor's decision to terminate these employees was because they had filed a charge of discrimination against him.  This would be illegal because it is retaliation in violation of both state and Federal laws.  


Because the typical client is not well-versed in employment law he/she is not expected to be able to make the necessary analysis to determine whether his/her termination is illegal.  Most times this is a complex determination that requires the assistance of a qualified attorney to guide and counsel you as an affected employee. If you believe you have been unjustly terminated, you may wish to contact the Law Offices of Valerie Kiffin Lewis, P.A. for a legal consultation.