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What statute protects an employee who was terminated capriciously, then reinstated but employer withheld salary/retirement.

Tampa, FL |

I was a"dismissed" public employee in 2011, reinstated 6 months later (2012)- same employer. I want to recover wages & employer retirement contributions. How can they "punish" me twice for no cause. I was evaluated capriciously, labeled "incompetent," fired, reinstated, then put on leave without pay, then rehired, and 3 subsequent evaluations called me "effective." I had 25 years of "effective" evals prior to the 1 "incompetent." Employer failed to use its own guidelines, thus acted capriciously.
In addition to the employer's actions, a writer of the local paper humiliated me with ad hominem attack, headlining me as "troubled." Immediately he left job for political one. Damage suit possible? If statute is limited on wrongful termination, please advise with alternate solutions.Thanks

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Attorney answers 2


Hi there. You obviously have some knowledge of causes of action in your state, but I would advise speaking with an attorney. Only an attorney can assist you at this point. Most employment attorneys give free consultations. Best of luck to you!


I think it may be worth your time and money to sit down with a qualified labor and employment attorney in your area. Obviously, you have multiple, involved issues and a board of this sort is not the best place to address concerns of this nature.

With that said, I will let you know that there is no capricious termination statute. The potential lack of a valid justification for your termination does not, in and of itself, create a cause of action, but may be relevant to the overall analysis.

Based upon your limited facts, it is hard to say whether some manner of legal claim may lie. Employment in Florida is generally at will and, for the most part, employers may hire, fire, promote, or demote whomever they choose. The employer's own policies are not the law, although employees often think they are.

The key issue in your case is probably the motivation for the employer's actions. For example, if the job issues can be tied to discrimination based upon race, national origin, color, sex, disability, religion, age, marital status, or other areas protected under law, then you may have a claim.

Similarly, if the job issues were the result of retaliation for recent complaints about having to perform illegal actions, complaining about not being paid for all hours worked, or for participating in other “protected activity”, then you may also have a legal claim.

As an entirely separate matter, you may have some manner of defamation claim, but that would also be something you would need to sit down and discuss in detail with a qualified lawyer. Such cases are, however, rarely handled on a contingency fee basis and most attorneys that handle such matters (such as myself and those at my firm) will typically charge a consultation fee.

Good luck.

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