Does this qualify wrongful termination if so how should I go about legally?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Does this qualify wrongful termination if so how should I go about legally?

I was working for The Cheesecake Factory as a server for over a year. In November I had a few consistent days off and used that time to vacation myself out of state. Upon my first day returning to work, I was assaulted by another employee of the same rank on the exterior side of the work building. I was still on the clock and ambushed by the attack. Police and Management got involved and I pressed charges against the attacker. I was sent home due to injuries on my face and blood on my uniform. Expecting to return to work being the victim, I received a call being terminated instead for an incident I didn’t provoke nor instigate. After enduring physical, emotional, and financial distress is there anything that I can do for justice in my case?

Asked on January 10, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, unless you had a written employment contract which was violated by your termination, this was not wrongful termination--at least not in a legal sense; I won't disagree that it was unfair and morally wrong. Without a written contract, employment is "employment at will"; that means an employee may be terminated at any time, for any reason, even unfairly and for things which were not his/her fault--even when, as here, the employee was the victim of a criminal assault. Without a contract, you have no guaranty of or rights to a job, and so may be terminated at will.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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