February 27, 2011 blog on the issue: Survey of Florida’s Wrongful Termination Workers’ Compensation Law
Although the rights of injured workers under Florida’s Workers’ Compensation statutes have consistently been eroded away under Republican rule, one protection has remained constant over the years. Per Section 440.205 Florida Statutes (2009):
Coercion of employees.–No employer shall discharge, threaten to discharge, intimidate, or coerce any employee by reason of such employee’s valid claim for compensation or attempt to claim compensation under the Workers’ Compensation Law.
The protection afforded injured workers under Section 440.205 is broad, prohibiting not only the firing of an employee, but also threats, coercion, and intimidation. Chase v. Walgreen Co., 750 So.2d 93 (Fla. 5th DCA 1999). Moreover, a “valid claim” means one that is meritorious, not just compensable. Smailbein v. Volusia County Sch. Bd., 801 So.2d (Fla. 5th DCA 2001).
440.205 claims are tort actions and must be brought in Circuit Court. The Judge of Compensation Claims does not have jurisdiction over these claims.
These cases are extremely fact specific and require the knowing eye of a competent attorney to properly evaluate and prosecute.
Jeffrey P. Gale, P.A. is a South Florida based law firm committed to the judicial system and to representing and obtaining justice for individuals – the poor, the injured, the forgotten, the voiceless, the defenseless and the damned, and to protecting the rights of such people from corporate and government oppression. We do not represent government, corporations or large business interests.
Contact us at 866-785-GALE or by email to learn your rights.