I was let go after 18 years with a company

I have many questions and not really sure how to go about asking, I was initially fired for harassment,(verbally)I was not the person that was harassing, but was verbally harassed in front of many employees by an employee. However when I was called back in a couple of days later to pick up my personal items I was told to sign the pink slip (which I did not)and they wrote down that I was let go due to lack of work in the construction industry.(I did recieve my 2 wks vacation pay, but nothing more) Now being almost a year later, 4 employees that have worked there as long as I had, where laid off and recieved severance pay of up to 2 to 3 months pay... this has been very stressful and emotional for me. Please help me. Much more to the story !!!(i'm thinking my case, could be harrassment, wrongful discharge, discrimination, & severance pay)

1 answer  |  asked Jan 19, 2012 09:20 AM [EST]  |  applies to Florida

Answers (1)

Phyllis Towzey
If you believe you were the victim of workplace harassment based on your age, sex, race, national origin, marital status, disability or religion, you need to contact an attorney immediately. You indicated that it was "almost a year ago" that you were fired. You have 300 days from the date of the last discriminatory act (i.e. your termination) to file discrimination charges with the EEOC, and 365 days to file with the Florida Commission on Human Relations. Your time to file an EEOC charge may already have passed. If you fail to file charges within these time periods, you lose the right to file a lawsuit based on discrimination.

That being said, unless you were the victim of illegal discrimination (being treated unfairly is NOT the same thing as illegal discrimination), you don't have a right to your job (Florida is an employment at will state) nor do you have a right to receive severance pay (no federal or state law requires it). An employer can fire you for no reason at all - they just can't fire you because of your membership in one of the protected classes mentioned above, or in retaliation for you complaining about discrimination or illegal harassment (again, illegal harassment is different from someone just being mean to you at work) or objecting to illegal activities by the company (i.e. a Whistleblower case). They can also fire you because someone accused you of doing something you didn't do, and the employer chose to believe the accuser.

Whether you have a case here is something you need to discuss with an attorney, as it depends upon the facts.

posted by Phyllis Towzey  |  Jan 19, 2012 09:34 AM [EST]

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