Florida is a jurisdiction of employment at will which means employers can terminate employees with or without cause and don’t have to give notice of termination in most situations. Employees can also leave the company at any time without any reason. Although employers can usually terminate employees without notice or cause, there are still federal employment laws that they still need to follow. For example, federal employment laws require them to give notice of termination if a company will lay off a large number of employees. In addition, anti-discrimination labor law prohibits employers from dismissing employees on grounds of discrimination and retaliation. Florida employers must comply with anti-discrimination laws, notice requirements and laws regarding the last paycheck to end their employees.
- Give your employees at least 60 days of written notice if you are laying off large numbers of people. Under the federal Workers Adjustments and Retaining Notification Act you must give your employees at least 60 days prior written notice prior to termination if you’re laying off 50 workers or more on a site or a third of its full-time employees. Otherwise, you do not have to.
- Pay your fired employee by his or her next regular pay day after termination. The United States Department of Labor does not require you to pay your employees who are dismissed immediately and allows states to enact laws immediate payment. The Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation administers the state labor laws and does not require you to pay your employees until your next regular payment date.
- Give your dismissed employees the option to continue group health coverage. According to the Act Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation (COBRA), if you have at least 20 employees, and they’ve provided the optional health coverage group, you must allow employees who are dismissed to continue paying health coverage for at least 18 months after completion. Federal law does not require you to buy group coverage for the sole compliance with COBRA. In addition, you do not have to cover if you fired your employees for serious misconduct.
- Make sure that you comply with federal laws about equal opportunities in employment.You cannot fire your employees for discriminatory reasons. Terminations based on race, national origin, religion and gender layoffs and terminations based on disability are discriminatory and illegal. Your employees can still sue you if you made them feel that they were treated differently based on the above characteristics.
- Meet the federal whistleblower laws. You cannot terminate an employee if he or she made an earlier complaint alleging lack of compliance with health and safety regulations, failure wage laws or your breach of any other state or federal employment law. Your employee can file a whistleblower claim that he or she was fired as an act of retaliation.