Should Employees Ask Employers The Reason For Their Termination?
For more than twenty years, our Marion County, Florida wrongful termination lawyers have fought for the rights of wrongful termination victims. Having extensive experience representing employees who have been wrongfully fired, our Ocala, Florida wrongful termination lawyers know that employers often refuse to give employees a reason for their termination. Although Florida employers are not required by federal or Florida law to give employees a reason for their termination, employees should always ask their employer the reason why they are being fired. When asked to give a reason, employers will sometimes admit that an employee is being fired for an unlawful discriminatory or retaliatory reason and, thus, provide the employee with evidence to prove a wrongful termination case. In this article, our Marion County, Florida wrongful termination attorneys explain how the alleged facts in the recent decision by the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Lowe v. Walbro 972 F.3d 827 (6th Cir. 2020) illustrates why employees should always ask their employer why they are being fired.
Wrongful Termination Lawsuit
In that case, a man named Lowe (Lowe) brought an age discrimination lawsuit against his former employer, Walbro LLC (Walbro). Lowe claims that Walbro unlawfully fired him because of his age. Lowe was 60 years old when his employment was terminated and had worked at Walbro for more than four decades.
Lowe began working for Walbro as a stock handler at the age of 18. Over the course of his forty-year career with the company, Lowe was promoted on several occasions. At the time he was fired, Lowe held the title of Area Manager, a position that she assumed in 2014. As Area Manager, Lowe was responsible for managing the maintenance of Walbro’s facility in Cass City, Michigan. Since June 2016, Lowe reported to the General Manager of the Cass City facility, a 35-year-old man named Davidson.
On June 28, 2018, Walbro terminated Lowe’s employment. On that date, Davidson asked Lowe to come to Davidson’s office. Davidson read from a prepared script, informing Lowe that his position was being eliminated. Lowe testified that he asked Davidson during the meeting why he was being fired. In response, according to Lowe, Davidson stated that “well, you’re kind of getting up there in years, you’re at retirement age, you go one way and the company’s going the other.”
Reason Is Evidence Of Wrongful Discharge
The trial court dismissed Lowe’s claim that he was unlawfully fired because of his age. In doing so, the trial court reasoned that the remark Davidson allegedly made about Lowe’s age at the June 2018 meeting was “too attenuated” to constitute direct evidence of age discrimination. On appeal, the Sixth Circuit reversed the trial court’s decision and reinstated Lowe’s age discrimination claim.
In reversing the trial court, the Sixth Circuit explained that the trial court “failed to specifically focus” on the “significance” of Davidson’s remark about Lowe’s age. Emphatically rejecting the trial court’s conclusion, the appellate court found that Davidson’s remark about Lowe’s age constituted direct evidence that Lowe was unlawfully fired because of his age. The court of appeals observed that Davidson’s remark was “made at the meeting in which Lowe was fired” and “made in direct response to Lowe’s question about why he was being fired.” The appellate court also found that “Davidson’s remark is a literal statement that Lowe’s age was the actual reason why he was terminated.” Consequently, the court of appeals found that Davidson’s remark was a “textbook definition” of what age discrimination law prohibits: “discharging an employee because of the employee’s age.” Having found the trial court’s decision legally erroneous, the Sixth Circuit sent the case back to the trial court for a jury trial.
Free Evaluation For Wrongful Discharge Victims
One of the most important decisions that wrongful termination victims must make is deciding which employment attorneys to consult with regarding their legal rights. At our employment law firm, an experienced employment attorney will speak with you personally and you will receive the individualized attention your case deserves. We offer free confidential case evaluations and you will never have to pay to speak with our employment lawyers regarding your employee rights. We are available for consultation at your convenience and are able to schedule telephone consultations for evenings and weekends.
Marion County Wrongful Termination Attorneys
Based in Ocala, Florida and representing workers throughout Central Florida, our Marion County, Florida wrongful termination lawyers have litigated wrongful termination cases in Florida courts for more than twenty years. If you have been wrongfully terminated or have questions about your rights as a wrongful termination victim, please contact our office for a free consultation with our Ocala, Florida wrongful termination attorneys. Our employee rights law firm takes wrongful termination cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that there are no attorney’s fees incurred unless there is a recovery and our attorney’s fees come solely from the monetary award that you recover.