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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    2

    Default Terminated Without Cause

    My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: Florida
    I have been employed by a company for 2 years. I started as receptionist and within a month I was promoted to Financial Coordinator and within a year was promoted to Office Manager! I have had no problems, get along well with everyone, have never been written up or even spoken to about anything. I take great pride in my job and very much enjoy it. I went into work this morning and was told I was fired!! No warning, had no idea it was coming, was completely blind sided.

    I asked my employer when he said that I no longer had a position with the company, WHY?? And he refused to give me an answer, he asked for my key and as I was collecting my belongings I asked two other times WHY and he said that he wasn't going to tell me and didn't have to. I don't understand and I want to know if there is anything I can do. I just feel horrible and with the economy the way it is who knows how long it will take me to find another job. I am just absolutly falling apart emotionally here. Advise would be sooooo helpful!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    3,835

    Default Re: Terminated Without Cause

    I will pray for you, as the times are hard.

    In a nutshell, you seem to be what is termed "employed at will". This means in a legal context, the employment relationship can be terminated "at will" by either party, at any time.

    The employer is only liable if the discharge is a violation of law, such as for age, race, etc.

    If you suspect NO such possible illegal conduct in nature, just they desired you work there no more, it is a legal termination, I am sorry to say.

    I do not live in FL, nor am I an attorney, but know a bit about employment law, however, any person can consult an attorney versed in such to review ALL the facts leading up to the firing.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,521

    Default Re: Terminated Without Cause

    Please do not take this as unsympathetic. It is not intended that way. I completely understand how you feel and do not blame you in the least for feeling that way.

    But under the law, you are not entitled to a reason for the termination. He is not legally obligated to tell you why. He is not even legally obligated to have a reason. However, while you may not know what the reason is, I guarantee he has one. That reason is not necessarily because you did something wrong. It may be that he can no longer afford you. It may be that he wants to hire his buddy's sister instead. He HAS a reason - no employer wakes up in the morning and says, "I don't have anything to do this morning - I think I'll fire someone". His reason may be good or bad. It may be legal or illegal. (Note: NOTHING you have posted suggests that it is an illegal reason.) He may not have told you what the reason is, but he HAS a reason. It is not cost or business effective to fire someone for no reason. But that reason does not necessarily have anything to do with you.

    However, while he does not have to tell you what his reason is, he does have to tell the unemployment office if his plan involves contesting benefits. (Note: If he does not plan to contest benefits, he does not need to tell them either.) You should IMMEDIATELY, if you have not already done so, apply for unemployment. If he plans to contest, he will need to tell the unemployment office what his reason was. If he does not plan to contest, then you may never know, and you will have to live with that, because there is no law you can invoke that will force him to tell you.

    A final Note (yes, I do that a lot ): If you really, truly, have absolutely no idea why he let you go, then I really don't think you have much to worry about with regards to unemployment. Even if he contests, contesting is not prevailing, and it's been my experience that if an employer has sufficient cause to *successfully* contest benefits, the employee has a pretty good idea what it is. If the employee is truly in the dark as to the reason (whatever that reason may be) the employer is unlikely to prevail. So your chances of getting UI are pretty good, even if he contests, unless you are lying in your teeth about not knowing what's going on.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Terminated Without Cause

    Thanks guys I appreciate the feedback. When one door closes another one opens!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    3,835

    Default Re: Terminated Without Cause

    You are welcome. If I remember correctly only about 2 or 3 states codify at will employment by statute, the rest, except one, are ingrained in the common law/Court made law.

    The At will doctrine is handed down to the U.S. state's from English Common law.

    Sign up for unemployment and God bless.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    North Miami Beach
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: Terminated Without Cause

    I just moved to Florida from NJ a few months ago. When I was hired I was told I was "at will".

    It's a Florida thing. It sucks, but it's just the way it is. My only suggestion to you is to work for a larger company with a full HR department. They tend to steer away from the "at will" designation and handle all employees the same regardless of the state.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,521

    Default Re: Terminated Without Cause

    FYI, 49 out of 50 states, including both FL and NJ, are at will. The 50th state also accepts the at-will doctrine in some situations.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    North Miami Beach
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: Terminated Without Cause

    Quote Quoting cbg
    View Post
    FYI, 49 out of 50 states, including both FL and NJ, are at will. The 50th state also accepts the at-will doctrine in some situations.
    After working in NJ, NY, CT, PA, Mass, VT, NH I can tell you from my experience I've never experienced the "At will" clause used until I moved to Florida. Not against me personally but the companies down here seem at ease using it...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,521

    Default Re: Terminated Without Cause

    That may be so, but they all have the option.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Lake Chapala
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    3,043

    Default Re: Terminated Without Cause

    Quote Quoting ollie
    View Post
    After working in NJ, NY, CT, PA, Mass, VT, NH I can tell you from my experience I've never experienced the "At will" clause used until I moved to Florida. Not against me personally but the companies down here seem at ease using it...
    Legally, employers don't have to tell their employees (verbally or in writing) about their at-will status in order to exercise their at-will rights. In other words, just because your employers in these other states didn't actually say "at-will" to you doesn't in any way whatsoever mean that they couldn't/wouldn't terminate your employment one day just because they felt like it.

    Personally, I prefer employers (like your Florida employer) who are remind their employees up front about their at-will status.

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