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Unformatted text preview: termination, but does not provide a cause of action for allegations
of threats, intimidation, or coercion absent the termination, discharge, or constructive
discharge of the Plaintiff.
4. The Plaintiff's response to the Motion to Dismiss is that the plain language of the
statute authorizes a cause of action for threats to discharge, intimidation, or coercion in
addition to actual termination or discharge itself.
5. I have fully considered the case law cited by the parties. I have noted the Supreme
Court of Florida decisions which have referenced F.S. § 440.205 as providing a cause of
action for wrongful discharge. [**19] Neither party has cited any case law specifically
addressing the issue of a cause of action for coercion or intimidation [*100] where there
was not a corresponding termination or discharge from employment. The recent case of
de Oca v. Orkin Ext Co, 692 So. 2d 257 (Fla. 3d DCA 1997), cited by the Defendant,
supports the more limited scope of F.S. § 440.205 advocated by the Defendant.
6. I have considered the plain language of the statute and the case law argued by both
parties. While the plain language of the statute may prohibit an employer from
threatening to discharge, intimidating, or coercing an employee (in addition to actual
termination), I am also constrained by the rule of law that statutory causes of action in
derogation of the common law must be construed narrowly. Accordingly, I find that the
case law cited by the Defendant supports its assertion that F.S. § 440.205 provides a
cause of action only for retaliatory discharge or termination. While the language of the
statute is not entirely clear in this limitation, I do not find that the case law supports the
broader interpretation advocated by the Plaintiff [**20] in this case as it would allow for
lawsuits against employers for allegations of intimidation or coercion even in cases where
the Plaintiff continues to be employed with that employer.
7. As the complaint alleges that the Plaintiff continues to be employed with the
Defendant, I find that the complaint does not state a cause of action under F.S. § 440.205.
As pointed out by the trial court, the Florida Supreme Court has rendered two...
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This note was uploaded on 09/30/2012 for the course ENC 102 taught by Professor Deria during the Spring '08 term at FIU.
- Spring '08