Vero Beach, FL asked in Employment Discrimination for Florida

Q: I was terminated on my way to work during hurricane Dorian from Abbiejean Russell Care center in Ft. Pierce Fl on 9/2/19

The New administrator is Haitian. I am the director of activities and the residents complained to me 2 times during resident council that the staff always speaks in creole outside their rooms daily. I gave my residents council minutes to the administrator 3x weeks ago for her to sign and she never did. I was on my way in to work and was terminated via text. She corresponded with the team 1 time during emergency preparations via tent on 9/1/19 @ 9:11 pm. I have all her Text messages from that date. Do I have a case? My job is to protect our residents and there well being. I have been doing this for 15 years and enjoy working with our elderly community. Please advise.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Mitchell Feldman
Mitchell Feldman
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Employment Law Lawyer
  • TAMPA, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Unfortunately as an employee at will you don’t have any legal claim against your employer other than unemployment given these facts. Seek unemployment.

Bruce Alexander Minnick agrees with this answer

Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
Answered
  • Employment Law Lawyer
  • Hollywood, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Your brief on-line description will not get you any reliable legal opinion on your rights and legal options. You categorized your inquiry as employment discrimination, but your description contains no facts regarding unequal treatment based on a class that you fall in, such as race, sex, age, disability, color, religion, national origin, etc. A case of such unequal treatment could be shown by either direct evidence or circumstantial evidence. Sometimes people call their employment situation "discrimination", when it's not, it's really something else. Now, you might actually have facts (not mentioned) that would support an employment discrimination claim, but you would need to schedule a consultation with an attorney, which will likely cost you a reasonable consultation fee. My firm would charge a consultation fee of $250.00 for this matter. Some other firms might charge less, or you may possibly even find a firm that will give you a free consultation.

If, on the other hand, you already know for sure that you do NOT have a potential discrimination claim, then the issue is whether you have the sole remedy of seeking unemployment compensation, or do you have that plus some other remedy related to any wage/hour violations? Or is there a written employment contract providing that the employee cannot be terminated except for certain reasons?

The vast majority of people terminated in Fla. have the sole remedy of seeking unemployment comp. You will be awarded the comp unless the employer successfully contests it on the ground that you engage in misconduct on the job. If the employer contests it, you should retain an attorney.

Finally, in some cases, the employee will want to try to work something out with the employer to call the separation a resignation rather than a termination (in which case you cannot be awarded unemployment comp, but you wouldn't have the termination on your record).

Bruce Alexander Minnick agrees with this answer

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