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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 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.
The question presented [**6] appears to be a question of first impression in Florida;
namely, whether section 440.205, Florida Statutes (1993), entitled "Coercion of
Employees," creates a cause of action for retaliatory "intimidation or coercion" absent a
discharge. It is clear that the statute creates a cause of action for retaliatory discharge.
Scott v. Otis Elevator Co., 572 So. 2d 902, 903 (Fla. 1990); Smith [*96] v. Piezo Tech.
and Prof'l Adm'rs, 427 So. 2d 182, 183 (Fla. 1983).
Section 440.205, entitled "Coercion of Employees," provides as follows:
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. 129 When interpreting a statute, this court "must determine legislative intent from the plain
meaning of the statute." State v. Dugan, 685 So. 2d 1210, 1212 (Fla. 1996); see also
Acosta v. Richter, 671 So. 2d 149, 153 (Fla. 1996), citing Shelby Mut. Ins. Co. v. Smith,
556 So. 2d 393, 395 (Fla. 1990)(plain meaning is th...
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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