The Florida Commission on Human Relations (FCHR) is a state agency dedicated to enforcing regulations against employment discrimination in Florida in various areas, including the following:
- Employment discrimination;
- Public Accommodations;
- Retaliation against “whistle-blowers.“
The Florida legislature created the FCHR, which has the 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 proven violations. A local Florida attorney can provide additional details.
How Does the Florida Commission Help Resolve Employment Law Disputes?
For most employment discrimination complaints, the FCHR proceeds through a systematic process. In this process, the aim is to determine whether a violation has occurred and to prescribe the appropriate legal remedy under Florida employment law.
The Commission helps to resolve employment complaints through:
- Mediation: This is 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 does not solve the problem, the Commission conducts a timely, objective, and efficient investigation into the matter;
- Determination: If there is sufficient evidence of discrimination, the Commission issues a determination stating whether the employer is liable;
- Notification: The person who has filed the claim is notified about how to seek any remedies that the Commission prescribed. This may require further hearings or civil action in court.
The Commission may prescribe remedies such as an award of damages or an injunction requiring the employer to adjust their employee policies.
What Is Employment Discrimination Under Florida Law?
Employee discrimination occurs when an employer treats an employee (or potential employee) less favorably than similar employees because of certain characteristics, such as their age, gender, religion, disability, or other characteristics; these characteristics or backgrounds are protected by law.
Employment discrimination can also happen when one group of employees is treated better than another, based again on protected classes or categories defined by various laws. A clear example of this is when one group of workers receives benefits that are denied to others based on their gender. Discrimination of this kind usually occurs after a person has already been hired, but there may be discrimination in hiring.
What Is Multiple Factor Employment Discrimination?
Most employment discrimination cases involve only one specific characteristic of the employee. A person may be discriminated against on the basis of their age or country of origin, for instance. However, multiple-factor employment discrimination occurs when an employer discriminates against a person based on more than one trait or characteristic.
A person may face discrimination in work due to their sex and gender. This can occur in a variety of contexts and can involve a wide range of people and groups.
What Are Some of the Laws Against Employment Discrimination?
Discrimination against employees is illegal under several state and federal laws. These laws have impacted work environments in many ways throughout U.S. history, and each has its own role in defining employment discrimination.
Employment discrimination laws include the following:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964: This is a federal anti-discrimination act that makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against employees based on sex, race, color, religion, or national origin. Local, state, and federal governments are covered, as well as private employers;
- The Equal Pay Act (EPA): The EPA protects employers against gender discrimination. In particular, it stipulates that employees of different genders should receive equal pay for equal work;
- The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA): The ADEA protects employees who are 40 years and older from discrimination. Specific situations, such as being forced to retire due to age, are addressed in it;
- The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): As with other anti-discrimination laws, this prohibits discrimination against a person based on their disability status. Other aspects of employment are also discussed, such as providing reasonable accommodations for disabled employees;
- The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA): The IRCA imposes various requirements on employers regarding employees’ immigration status. It explains when and how employers should verify workers’ employment eligibility;
- The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): The FMLA is a federal law that governs how employees can take unpaid medical leave. While on a legitimate or approved medical leave, it protects a person from being fired.
What Else Is Prohibited by Employment Discrimination Laws?
Furthermore, it is illegal to treat one group more favorably than another based on protected categories. In this case, it would be illegal to pay a higher salary to one group of workers than to another based solely on their race. If both groups perform the same task, this is especially true.
Additionally, employment discrimination laws are expanding to cover more categories and classes. Specifically, sexual orientation and gender identity are being considered more and more when it comes to anti-discrimination policies and laws.
State laws may differ from other states in their specific provisions. For instance, California’s employment discrimination laws may vary from those of Texas, New York, or other states.
What Are Examples of Workplace Discrimination?
Discrimination in the workplace occurs most often when a potential employee is not hired because of their race, age, or other protected status. Another common example is where a current employee is denied benefits or a promotion because of their membership in a protected class.
Many wrongful termination claims involve discrimination claims. People are often fired based on their sex, age, gender, or other classifications, which is illegal under discrimination laws.
How Do I File an Employment Discrimination Claim?
If a person believes that they have an employment discrimination claim in the state of Florida, they may file a claim directly with the FCHR. In most cases, a person needs to write or visit the agency in person to accomplish this.
The situation that the person believes was discriminatory must be described. To support the claim, a person may wish to provide evidence or proof. A qualified employment lawyer is usually required when filing with the Commission.
Please keep in mind that the Commission enforces strict filing deadlines. If you allege employment, housing, or public accommodations discrimination, you must file within one year (365 days). Whistleblower cases must be filed within 60 days of the retaliation.
How Do I Complain to the Florida Commission on Human Relations?
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. In most cases, you will need to write or visit the agency in person to accomplish this. The situation that you believe was discriminatory must be described. To support your claim, you may wish to provide evidence or proof. The help of a qualified employment lawyer is usually required when filing with the FCHR.
Please keep in mind that the Commission enforces strict filing deadlines. If a person alleges employment, housing, or public accommodations discrimination, they must file within one year (365 days). Whistleblower cases must be filed within 60 days of the retaliation.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with My Florida Commission on Human Relations Claim?
It is common for employment discrimination claims to involve some complex legal issues. You may believe that you have been the victim of discrimination in your employment, and you need assistance in filing a claim. In this case, you want to consult a qualified Florida discrimination lawyer.
LegalMatch.com can connect you to a lawyer who can assist you in making your case and putting together the necessary forms to file your claim. In addition, your attorney can represent you at hearings or civil lawsuit proceedings.