Port Orange, FL asked in Employment Discrimination, Employment Law and Civil Rights for Florida

Q: Are homicidal threats and a baker act a legal reason for termination?


I was recently fired from my job after being baker acted on the job. I texted the crisis hotline explaining to them I was having homicidal thoughts about killing my coworkers. The police arrived and took me in, I went willingly. When I was released from the hospital 72 hours later I was told I was fired and offered no explanation other than "there are some things you just don't say at work". Can I sue them in Florida for this?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Civil Rights Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In Florida, the situation you describe is complex and involves several legal considerations. Employers have a duty to maintain a safe workplace, and expressing homicidal thoughts about coworkers can be seen as a serious threat to workplace safety. This could potentially be a legitimate reason for termination, especially if the employer believes there is a credible threat to the safety of other employees.

However, the circumstances surrounding your Baker Act (involuntary institutionalization) and the nature of your mental health condition could introduce considerations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities, which can include mental health conditions, unless doing so would cause undue hardship to the employer.

Given the complexity of your situation, which involves mental health issues and potential safety concerns in the workplace, it would be advisable to consult with an attorney. An attorney specializing in employment law can assess whether your termination was in compliance with the ADA and other relevant laws.

It's important to provide the attorney with all relevant information, including details about your mental health condition, the circumstances leading to your Baker Act, and any communications with your employer regarding the incident and your termination.

Remember, each case is unique, and legal advice will depend on the specific details of your situation. An attorney can help you understand your rights and options under Florida law.

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