Employment Discrimination in Florida

Employees in Florida who have experienced discrimination at work may be eligible to file a claim. The Florida Civil Human Rights Act makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap, or marital status.

This means if you believe you are one of these protected groups and have been the victim of discrimination you shouldn’t continue to allow this to happen but you should demand compensation because your employer has violated the law.

What Kind of Discrimination Laws Are in Place in Florida?

Most states have workplace discrimination laws in place to protect workers from discrimination and in Florida this type of discrimination is covered by the Florida Civil Human Rights Act (FCHR). This act makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee based on his or her race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap, or marital status. 

The Florida anti-discrimination statute covers smaller employers, which are not covered by federal law. This is just for age discrimination claims. So, if your workplace has between 15 and 20 employees, your claim should be filed with the FCHR.

Who is Protected by Federal and State Anti Discrimination Laws in Florida?

Florida’s discrimination laws protect employees based on their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap, or marital status. These are called protected classes.

The federal laws are covered by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlaws employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin.

What Employers are Covered By Discrimination Laws in Florida?

 In Florida, companies with 15 or more employees are expected to implement the state's anti-discrimination law.      

Which Florida Agencies Regulate These Laws?

The state administrative agency responsible for employee discrimination is the Florida Commission on Human Relations (FCHR) but there is also Georgia’s Fair Employment Practices Act

How do I File a Discrimination Claim in Florida?

Depending on the violation you may file a claim for discrimination with either the Florida Commission on Human Relations (FCHR)   or the federal agency which is called the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The two agencies have a "work-sharing agreement," which typically means that the two agencies cooperate with one another when it comes to processing claims.

Filing a claim with both agencies isn’t necessary, provided you tell your preferred agency that you would like to "cross-file" your claim with the other agency. If you intend to file with the EEOC, this can be done online.

You may upload and receive documents and communicate with the EEOC far more easily. If you decide to file with the EEOC after 10 days you will be sent a notice and a copy of the charge will be forwarded to your employer. The EEOC will then study your case and decide to do any of the following:

  • request that both you and your employer solve the problem using mediation;
  • ask your employer to provide a written response to your charge.

If the EEOC decides to perform an investigation into your workplace discrimination in Florida, it may decide to interview any witnesses you have provided and assess any relevant documents. If it decides that discrimination has not taken place you will then be sent a "Notice of Right to Sue." This gives you the right to file a lawsuit in court.

If the EEOC decides that discrimination did take place then it will try to obtain a voluntary settlement with your employer. If a settlement isn’t reached, your case may be referred to the Department of Justice who will decide whether or not the agency should file a lawsuit. On average, the EEOC takes up to 6 months to conduct an investigation of a charge.

How Long Do I Have To File an Employment Discrimination Claim in Florida?

Whether you decide to file your Florida work discrimination claim with the FCHR or EEOC there are strict time limits you need to follow to ensure your employment discrimination will be considered. Under Florida state law the time you are given to file with the FCHR (or cross-file with the EEOC) is within 12 months of the date the discrimination took place.

Under federal law, you need to file your claim with the EEOC (or cross-file with Florida’s state agency) within 300 days of the discrimination date. If you fail to follow these dates you will lose your chance of winning a discrimination claim.

How Do I Get Help Filing an Employment Discrimination Claim in Florida?

It is never easy to win a claim of workplace discrimination in Florida but a lawyer will help ensure you get the compensation you deserve from your employer who has violated state and federal discrimination laws.

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