Being an independent contractor has numerous benefits. You can be selective in the projects that you undertake and have more flexibility in terms of charging a price that suits you. Engaging with an independent contractor can also be beneficial for any company that opts to work with you, as they do not need to be tied to a long-term agreement.
With that being said, you still have a host of legal rights as an independent contractor. If the company you are doing work for abruptly ends your mutual agreement, you will likely feel aggrieved. What can you do about it? Can an independent contractor sue for wrongful termination?
Florida is an at-will employment state. Essentially, this means that an employee can be dismissed at any time, as long as the reason for termination isn’t unlawful. Also, the employee can also choose to quit at any time. However, there are some exceptions. Employees cannot be fired for discriminatory reasons based on their protected characteristics. These rights also extend to independent contractors. While you cannot sue based on wrongful termination, you can certainly raise a legal grievance centered on discrimination.
There are some occasions when the line between independent contractor and employee is not so clear. Companies can benefit from classifying workers as independent contractors because it relieves them from certain obligations, including certain legal protections and benefits. If you have been misclassified as an independent worker then you may also be able to lodge a wage-and-hour claim or seek compensation for other benefits that you have missed out on due to misclassification.
The terms of your employment should be clearly set out in your written contract. If these have been violated in any way, you are well within your rights to pursue a breach of contract claim.
Although it isn’t possible to sue for wrongful termination as an independent contractor, that doesn’t mean that you do not have rights. We help independent contractors with employment disputes, schedule a consultation to find out more.