Unemployment rates in the United States are falling, and job gains have been reported in the transportation, warehouse, business, and healthcare sectors. While this may seem like good news to most, these positive trends have negatively impacted one subset of American employees - those who have been wrongfully terminated from their jobs.
In a hot job market, employers are actively competing with one-another for top-notch talent. Candidates with a termination on their records, whether wrongful or not, often miss out on the opportunity to compete for these positions. This creates a far-reaching impact for both employees and employers. Here's what you need to know.
Defining Wrongful Termination
"Wrongful termination" is defined as severance from employment due to any of the following factors:
- National origin
Federal law prohibits employers from firing employees based on any of these factors, but that doesn't always keep it from happening. Employees who are wrongfully terminated suffer consequences that flow through into many facets of their lives.
Impact of Termination on Employees
Although an employee who has been wrongfully terminated can pursue legal action, the time between losing their job and a final court decision can be harrowing. Not only do they have to deal with financial hardships, they're often faced with handing the emotional impact of their situation.
As they struggle to find new employment, their career opportunities continue to diminish. Statics show that the longer someone is without a job, the harder it is to find gainful unemployment. In fact, 25 percent of those who are currently unemployed have been without a job for six months or longer.
Employment lawyers are taking notice of these hardships and encouraging wrongfully terminated employees to stand up for their rights by filing complaints. This means employers are more likely to find their decisions to terminate employees under scrutiny.
Take-Away for Florida Employers
The state of Florida, which is an "at will" employment state, allows employers to terminate employees at any time without cause, and in most cases, without advance notice. This does not, however, excuse employers from Federal laws regarding wrongful termination.
If you find yourself faced with the need to terminate an employee, make sure your affairs are in order before moving forward. Although you don't have to show cause for termination, you may need to prove that the decision was not discriminatory. If you're uncertain about the potential impact of the firing an employee, consult with a legal professional before taking action.