Right to Work Law

Is Florida an “Employment At-Will” or “Right to Work” State?

by | May 11, 2022 | Employment At Will, Employment Status, Right to Work

It’s a Trick question! 

The answer is both.  One of the most common misconceptions I find clients make is when they believe they can be fired for any reason because Florida is a “Right to Work” state.  This is true but the term is mixed up.  Florida is two things at one time – a Right to Work and Employment At-Will state.  Let’s clear these up.

Employment “At-Will”

The truth is that you can be fired in Florida anytime for a good reason, a bad reason, or no reason at all.  This legal principle is actually called “Employment At-Will.”  While this is a general rule, there are many exemptions to the “at-will” doctrine.  An employer can fire you for a bad reason or “any reason” as long as it not illegal.  A good example of an illegal reason is that an employer cannot terminate you based on your membership in a protected class.  Even if you were an “at-will” employee, there would be cause of action if your civil rights were violated.

Some other exceptions to “at-will” employment are when employees in Florida have contracts at work or are members of a union.  Those relationships can provide a different employment status than “at-will.”  A contract, for example, may provide a period of time that you are guaranteed employment and can set forth certain “for cause” conditions that you can be terminated over.  In other words, there must be a specific reason to terminate you. 

Right to Work

“Right to Work” stands for the legal principle that you are free to decide whether you join a union.  You cannot be forced to join a union or vice versa.  This rule is set forth in Florida’s constitution and is a popular phrase often mistaken as the “Employment At-Will” concept.

The Montone Law Firm, P.A. handles claims involving many employment issues and can provide a free case evaluation if you need assistance.  You can call 407-565-8228 or click here to get started.       

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