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RobertJDFL
RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 12132
Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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I was just fired by text. today was my last work day and then

Customer Question

I was just fired by text. today was my last work day and then I am supposed to be on 3 weeks vacation
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for using Just Answer. It will be my pleasure to assist you this evening. Can you explain what your legal question is? Are you asking if you are entitled to your vacation pay? Or are you asking if it's legal to be terminated over text message?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
is it legal to be terminated via text message and the reason given is unfounded and it has happened just as I have started my approved "paid" vacation.
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.While it is unprofessional, it is not unlawful to terminate an employee via text message. Florida is an "at will" employment state, meaning outside of an employment contract or collective bargaining agreement, which may give an employee more rights, an employee can be terminated for any reason or no reason at all, so long as it is not based on an unlawful reason. An employer cannot terminate you because of your race, religion, age, sex, disability or national origin. Do you believe you were terminated due to an unlawful reason?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
according to the message he did not think I was returning to work after the vacation. is vacation considered a protected leave?
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.
No, vacation is not protected, unfortunately. It's considered a fringe benefit, not something that an employer has to offer. While I agree that the reason you were given was unfounded, because Florida is an "at will" employment state, it's not considered an illegal termination.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
so what about civil suit? he can really fire me and screw me out of my earned pay?
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.
Do you have an employment contract that entitles you to vacation pay upon termination? Or has the employer paid other terminated employees their vacation pay in the past? If you have a contract, employee handbook or the employer has a history of paying terminated employees their vacation pay, but is refusing to pay you, yes, you could file a civil suit to get it. If not, however, then unfortunately, no, a civil suit wouldn't have merit. No federal or state law requires an employer to pay you for vacation time that hasn't been taken yet.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't know ... I was never given anything in writing. I was just told I was entitled to paid vacation. last year he paid me for the week I didn't use as well as any personal days I did not us. the place is 5 employees large so I don't know what has happened prior. there is no human resources department, handbook, anything like that.
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.
I would have to say that you aren't entitled to the vacation time. Last year, unused time was paid because you were employed. Since you have been terminated however, and will not be employed at the end of year whether the time was completely used or not. I realize it's not fair --and you got cheated out of your time -- but legally, the employer hasn't done anything wrong.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok well thank u for your time. I will see if I can meet with someone else and go over the entire employment history to make sure there is absolutely nothing I can do.
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.
It was my pleasure. If you call the Florida Bar Lawyer Referral Service at 1***-***-****, they can help you find an employment lawyer in your area, and give you a 1/2 hour consultation for $25. Alternatively, sites like www.avvo.com and www.martindale.com are very easy to use and you can read reviews from other lawyers and clients. An accept for my time would be appreciated, as that is the only way experts on this site are compensated. Thank you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
thank you very much.
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.
My pleasure.