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Florida Workplace Discrimination

Law Office of Patrick K. Elliott > Florida Workplace Discrimination

Florida Discrimination in the Workplace

Millions of Employees Are Subjected to Unlawful Discrimination Each Year

The Constitution of the United States and the Florida Constitution guarantee Discrimination and harassment claims should never be taken lightly. Discrimination is unlawful and employees who are working in a toxic environment need an attorney to protect their rights.

Employment Lawyer Patrick K. Elliott can help you protect your rights and receive fair and just compensation due to your employer’s unlawful business practices.

What is Employment Discrimination Law?

Employment discrimination law refers to federal and state laws that prohibit employers from treating workers differently based on certain attributes unrelated to job performance. Discrimination by government employers violates the constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process. Discrimination by private employers may conflict with any number of statutory protections, most notably, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Not all classifications qualify for protection against discrimination in the workplace. Under current law, individuals are protected against discrimination based on race or skin color, national origin, genetic information (such as family medical history), gender or pregnancy, religion, disability, and age. In some cases, it is also illegal for employers to discriminate based on marital status, political affiliation, and sexual orientation.

Assuming a protected classification is involved, many types of conduct can be found to be discriminatory, including decisions to hire, terminate, or promote. Employers cannot discriminate when imposing work conditions or privileges, or when determining pay, bonus, or time off. Workplace discrimination can also take the form of harassment, or retaliation for reporting improprieties or exercising a legal right.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the most significant source of anti-discrimination law for American workers. In its original form, the law covered discrimination based on “race, color, religion, sex, or national origin,” Title VII applies to businesses with 15 or more employees, as well as other public and private entities.

Call (800) 563-1409 today to schedule a free consultation. Pay no upfront costs and fees and pay nothing unless you receive compensation.

When Can Discrimination Happen in Florida?

Discrimination is the act of treating an employee unfavorably because of a personal characteristic that is protected under Florida or federal law. Discrimination can occur in the following situations:

      • Terms and conditions of employment;
      • The hiring process;
      • Training and apprenticeship;
      • Classification, compensation, assignment of employees;
      • Promotions (or lack thereof);
      • Fringe benefits;
      • Retirement plans;
      • Disability leave;
      • Job advertisement;
      • Transfer and recall;
      • Vacation or sick time;
      • Health benefits;Testing;
      • Use of company facilities;
      • Layoff; and
      • Raises.

Furthermore, workplace discrimination may be carried out in the form of harassment, such as if an employer makes insults, uses slurs, or mocks, belittles, intimidates, or threatens an employee because of the color of their skin, religion, gender, etc.

Filing an Employment Discrimination Claim

With so many laws and regulations on the subject, bringing an employment discrimination claim can become extremely complex, especially for those not represented by counsel. In most instances, the process is initiated by filing a complaint with the EEOC. In fact, nearly all claims must be brought to the attention of the EEOC, before the employee will be permitted to file a lawsuit.

The EEOC requires claims to be filed within 180 days. However, because Florida has enacted laws dealing with the same issue, the EEOC deadline is extended to 300 days. Either way, timeliness is important. The EEOC calculates filing deadlines based on the earliest date the employee was notified of the employer’s conduct. This can make a difference, since employers often give notice of termination or other action weeks in advance.

Claims can be filed with the EEOC in person or by mail. The agency will require basic information to allow it to investigate, such as contact information for the employee and employer, and the date and a description of the incident. As the investigation proceeds, the EEOC may contact the parties for additional information and documents, or to schedule an interview. It may also request that the parties attend voluntary mediation to settle the matter.

Following its investigation, if the EEOC finds discrimination did occur, it will work with both parties to attempt a settlement. If unsuccessful, the agency will either file a lawsuit on the employee’s behalf, or issue a “right to sue” letter authorizing the employee to file suit. If the EEOC’s investigation leads it to find that discrimination did not occur, it will still issue the right to sue letter to the employee.

Call (800) 563-1409 today to schedule a free consultation. Pay no upfront costs and fees and pay nothing unless you receive compensation.

If an attorney has not yet been retained, the employee will want to do so immediately, as the EEOC’s right to sue letter triggers a 90-day time requirement for filing a lawsuit. For those who meet all procedural requirements and successfully prove their case in court, many remedies are available.

These can include hiring, reinstatement, promotion, or special accommodation, as well as back pay, attorney fees, court costs, and other money awards.

Protection Against Discrimination Under Florida and Federal Law

Under the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), it is unlawful to discriminate based on a person’s protected traits. Similarly, Florida employees are protected under the Florida Civil Rights Act, which prohibits workplace discrimination based on the following protected traits:

      • Race;
      • Color;
      • Military Status Discrimination
      • Religion;
      • National origin;
      • Ancestry;
      • Sex;
      • Disability;
      • Age; and 
      • Sexual Orientation.


Employers are also prohibited from retaliating against an employee who files a claim or speaks up against discrimination. Common retaliatory acts by employers include firing, providing fewer working hours, lowering pay, demoting, or treating the employee unfairly in another manner.

Patrick Elliott handles all types of workplace discrimination and harassment claims, including all of the following:

      • Age discrimination;
      • Race discrimination;
      • National origin discrimination;
      • Sex discrimination;
      • Sexual orientation discrimination;
      • Disability discrimination;
      • Retaliation or discrimination against whistleblowers;
      • Wrongful termination; and
      • Religious discrimination.

Contact an Workplace Discrimination Lawyer Today

If you or a loved one were the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, the road forward can appear overly daunting. This is particularly true in the face of employer retaliation, when your livelihood seems to hang in the balance. To safeguard your rights in the face of such circumstances, know that you can always reach out to Employment Lawyer Patrick Elliott for assertive and diligent representation.

If you need legal assistance, contact the office today to get started. Workplace discrimination is a serious problem in Florida and across the country, and by allowing it to continue, the difficulties forced upon you and others only increase with time. If you are the victim of workplace discrimination, call the Tampa Law Office of Patrick K. Elliott, PLLC today.