The Florida Commission on Human Relations is a state entity created for the purpose of resolving discrimination in various areas such as:
- Employment discrimination
- Public Accommodations
- Retaliation against “whistle-blowers”
The Florida Legislature created the Commission, which has authority to conduct in-depth investigations for claims involving these issues. The Commission may also act as a neutral mediator and can also prescribe legal remedies for violations.
How Can the Florida Commission Help Resolve Employment Law Disputes?
For most employment discrimination complaints, the Florida Commission on Human Relations will go through a systematic process. This process aims to identify whether a violation has actually occurred, and to prescribe the appropriate legal remedy. The Commission helps to resolve disputes through:
- Mediation: This where the Commission acts impartially to discover facts that are relevant to resolving the claim. The Commission may also note any direct admissions of guilt
- Investigation: If mediation doesn’t solve the problem, the Commission will conduct a timely, objective, and efficient investigation into the matters
- Determination: If there is sufficient evidence of discrimination, the Commission will issue a determination stating whether the employer is liable
- Notification: The plaintiff who filed the claim will be notified on how to seek any remedies that were prescribed by the Commission (this may require further hearings or civil action in court)
The Commission may prescribe remedies such as a damages award, or an injunction requiring the employer to adjust their employee policies.
How Do I File a Claim?
If you believe that you have an employment discrimination claim in the state of Florida, you can file directly with the Florida Commission on Human Relations. This will usually require to write the agency or to visit them in person. You will be required to describe the situation that you believe was discriminatory. You may wish to provide initial proof or evidence in support of your claim. Filing with the Commission usually requires the assistance of a qualified employment lawyer.
You should bear in mind that the Commission enforces strict filing deadlines. For discrimination involving employment, housing, or public accommodations, you need to file within 1 year (365 days) of the alleged discrimination. For whistle-blower cases, the filing is 60 days after the retaliation occurred.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help Filing With the Florida Commission on Human Relations?
Employment discrimination claims can often involve some complex legal issues. If you need assistance in filing a claim, you may wish to hire a qualified Florida employment attorney. Your lawyer will be able to assist you the necessary forms and paperwork for filing your claim. Also, in the event that you need to attend a hearing or civil lawsuit proceedings, your attorney can provide you with representation.