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LABOR LAW-Jacksonville Lawyers

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Florida is a “right to work” state. This means that employees cannot be forced to be members of labor unions or forced to pay dues to labor unions. Nevertheless, there are still some private sector employees and public employees in Florida who are unionized. Some people, including some lawyers, mistake the “right to work” laws for the concept of “employment at will,” which stands for the general rule that an employer may terminate an employee for any reason. There are of course exceptions to the employment will rule. These exceptions include employees in a unionized workplace, who are either union members or in the bargaining unit, and who are protected by the collective bargaining agreement (a/k/a union contract). Not all collective bargaining agreements are the same, but they generally provide that employees can only be terminated for good cause, or for certain specified reasons set forth in the contract. Many collective bargaining agreements contain a standard of “progressive discipline,” meaning that employees may only be terminated after receiving a certain number of write-ups, previous discipline or warnings.

Of course, there are other exceptions to the general rule of the employment at will, which includes discrimination based on sex, gender, pregnancy, race, nationality, age, disability or handicap, and unlawful retaliation, the Florida public and private whistleblower laws, retaliation under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), worker’s compensation retaliation, retaliation for complaining about overtime violations, etc.

If you believe that you may have a valid union grievance or other employment law claims, please contact our firm for an in office consultation regarding these matters.