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As per my previous question How do Florida's labor laws protect employees injured when asked to do something unreasonable?

A girl working in Florida insisted on filing an injury report after being asked not to. She was then, after working there 6+ months with zero write-ups, given three write ups within a span of hours for frivolous violations, including her shirt coming un-tucked while reaching upward for something, and mentioning the incident to a co-worker (who then went tell management she needs a doctor), which the management labeled as talking about non-work-related topics, and the third was so frivolous she's not even clear what it was for. She's on track to be fired on her next shift.

What would it take to prove motive in such a case in order to make a case that the company is breaking Florida Statute 440.205?

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.

More specifically (for the scope of this site), what are the primary fundamental questions that would have to be answered "yes" to make such a case?

  • This person might well be a case here, but rhe kind of specific answer needed by this question is detail-dependant and is really specific legal advice. It will be best to consult an actual employment lawyer. many will give inital consultations to discuss an issue free or at low cost. – David Siegel Apr 7 at 0:51
  • I think the most we could do is give examples of the kind of facts that would be most relevant to deciding whether the law had been broken, in other words make up stuff and say "if X then no, but if Y then yes". That is, I think we could say something about hypothetical fact patterns, but the lawyer would have to give specific advice as to whether the case is hopeless. – user6726 Apr 7 at 0:59
  • Id be interested in the basic fundamental questions involved in the scenario as it related to whether or not the company's motive could be proven. How can I reword my question to me more in line with the scope? @DavidSiegel – Viziionary Apr 7 at 1:02
  • Edited the wording of the question to be more in line with the scope of the site. – Viziionary Apr 7 at 1:19
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A plaintiff wins a civil claim by proving their case on the balance of probabilities - that is, is their case more likely than the defence case.

The court will decide if it is more likely that the employee was terminated for attempting to make a workers compensation claim or if it is more likely they were fired for the reason the company gives.

When I’m called upon to make such decisions I apply the duck test:

If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.

... even if someone is trying to tell me it’s a chicken.

  • In the US the usual phrase is "preponderance of the evidence" rather than "balance of probabilities." I do not know whether the difference in the name of the standard corresponds to a difference in the application. – phoog Apr 7 at 16:15
  • @phoog I believe they both mean “more likely than not” – Dale M Apr 7 at 19:53
  • I wonder whether the US term causes a greater focus on the quantity of evidence rather than its quality or the weight that should be ascribed to different pieces of (stronger or weaker) evidence, though. – phoog Apr 7 at 21:19
  • @phoog I hope not - one piece of sterling evidence should beat any number of pieces of crap evidence – Dale M Apr 7 at 21:29
  • I agree, but what should be isn't always what is. – phoog Apr 7 at 21:55

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