Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.
Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts.
I read your facts, is there a specific question with which I could assist?
Options as to what? What do you want to accomplish?
Please be as specific as possible, on a forum with a format like this the more specific you can be in your questions the more help I can provide since I will know exactly what you're trying to do or need to know.
are you working under a written contract?
Did you get any of this in an email, letter, etc that guaranteed the new position, etc?
Is that in the employee handbook, manual, or anything like that?
You have a couple of issues.
First, Florida is what is known as an "employment at will" state. That essentially means that an employer is free to terminate an employee at any time and for any reason. They can also replace an employee, change their mind about a transfer, promotion, etc. The only exceptions to this are that they are not allowed to sanction an employee for an illegal reason like race, age, gender, etc.
I've got a couple of other things to add but it's going to take a minute to type it all. I'll let you know as soon as I've completed it and then we can cover your questions.
Another exception to the employment at will status it that an employer can't violate a statute. As an example, you mention taking time off due to your father's condition. If you asked for special arrangements, leave, etc. pursuant to the Family Medical Leave Act to care for your father because he has a "serious medical condition" then they can't "punish" you for that.
Florida courts are extremely reluctant to find an implied contract of employment so arguing that you have a contract with them that they breached is a possibility, but just not an incredibly strong case unless it is in writing.
So essentially, based on the facts you have provided so far, there appears to be a possible case for 1) breach of contract and 2) a breach of FMLA.
However, under FMLA you don't have a right to a "reasonable accommodation" which may mean a rearranging of work assignments, you only have a right to time off. That is a key difference that you need to keep in mind.
As to potential solutions, we can discuss those but what I would suggest is going to a local lawyer who does employment law, you can find one at www.lawyers.com, and asking them to help you write a reply to the HR email, so that it is worded correctly for the FMLA and the contract issue. That cost should be minimal and will be well worth it if you have to sue since that will be a piece of evidence you actually use at court.
Okay, go ahead and ask any questions you have.
Did you have other questions on what I posted?
If your question has been answered then I'd offer my best wishes to you and ask that you please not forget to leave a Positive Rating so I receive credit for my work.
Of course, please feel free to ask any follow up questions in this thread. I'm about to go offline of a while but will be back off and on throughout the evening.