This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: e "polestar" of statutory [**7]
construction). In other words, "if the language of the statute is clear and unambiguous, a
court must derive legislative intent from the words used without involving rules of
construction or speculating as to what the legislature intended." Id.
Chase argues that the plain meaning of section 440.205 prohibits four distinct adverse
employment actions and is not limited to discharge or threatened discharge. Chase points
to the disjunctive use of the word "or" in the statute: "No employer shall discharge,
threaten to discharge, intimidate, or coerce any employee . . . " Chase argues that the use
of the word "or" generally indicates that alternatives were intended. Sparkman v.
McClure, 498 So. 2d 892, 895 (Fla. 1986); D.M. v. State, 712 So. 2d 1204 (Fla. 5th DCA
1998); State v. White, 736 So. 2d 1231, 1232 (Fla. 2d DCA 1999). Walgreen, on the
other hand, argues that the words "intimidate" and "coerce" are simply the legislature's
way of describing constructive discharge in cases where the employee quits.
In support of her position, Chase points to the similarly worded federal jury service
statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1875 [**8] and its interpretation by federal courts. n1 See United
Teachers of Dade v. Dade County School Bd., 500 So. 2d 508, 512 (Fla. 1986)(Florida
courts often look to federal decisions to interpret similar statutes).
The statute provides in pertinent part:
(a) No employer shall discharge, threaten to discharge, intimidate, or coerce any
permanent employee by reason of such employee's jury service, or the attendance or
scheduled attendance in connection with such service, in any court of the United
States. (Emphasis added).
(b) Any employer who violates the provisions of this section (1) shall be liable for damages for any loss of wages or other benefits n2 suffered
[*97] by an employee by reason of such violation;
(2) may be enjoined from further violations of this section and ordered to provide
other appropriate relief, including but not limited to the reinstatement of any
employee discharged by...
View Full Document
- Spring '08