Common Employment Discrimination Lawsuits | FGBO Law

February 15, 2021

What Are the Most Common Employment Discrimination Lawsuits in Florida?

There are several common types of employment discrimination in Florida of which employees must be aware.

Data from the EEOC (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) from 2019 shows that retaliation continued to be the most frequently filed charge filed with the agency, followed by disability, race, and sex. The same types of claims have been filed in the State of Florida.

How are Employees Protected from Employment Discrimination in Florida?

Both federal and Florida law make it illegal to discriminate against employees based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions), sexual orientation, disability, and age (40 and over).  The Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992 (FCRA) is our state law prohibiting discrimination in employment.  In addition to offering the protections above, the Florida law goes beyond the federal protections and prohibits discrimination based on marital status, AIDS/HIV status, and sickle cell trait.

According to the employment law attorneys at Florin Gray Bouzas Owens in Tampa, the most common Florida employment discrimination lawsuits are found in the following categories:

Discrimination. Discrimination claims typically result when employers treat an employee differently and adversely because he or she falls into a legally protected category under federal or Florida law. There are several situations when you may need a discrimination attorney from FGBO.  For example, if you have been terminated or demoted because of your race, color, religion, disability, or marital status, you would have a potential claim and need to consult an attorney.  An employer may create an environment so discriminatory and hostile that no reasonable person could continue to work in those circumstances.  An employer, in that case, may be deemed to have “constructively discharged” the employee, giving rise to a discrimination claim.

Retaliation. Employers in Florida sometimes retaliate against employees that assert their right not to be discriminated against or to be paid properly.  Retaliation can include many adverse actions including termination, demotion, or reduction in hours.  Fortunately, both federal and Florida law prohibit employers from taking adverse actions against employees that take legally protected steps. Some examples of legally protected activity include:

  • Filing a claim of discrimination;
  • Participating in an investigation of a discrimination claim;
  • Objecting to your employer’s failure to pay overtime; or
  • Refusing to commit an illegal act, like refusing to lie during an investigation.

If you have engaged in protected activity and your employer has taken any adverse action against you, you should immediately consult an employment lawyer at FGBO.

Harassment. This is defined as “unwelcome conduct based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.” Harassment is illegal if you are required to endure the conduct to keep your job, or the conduct rises to the level that any reasonable person would consider hostile, abusive, or intimidating. This could include offensive conduct relating to a legally protected activity or category. It also includes offensive jokes, objects or pictures, name-calling, physical assaults, threats, and any other actions or behavior that might interfere with an individual’s work performance. Any of these unwelcome activities in a persistent manner can create an intimidating, hostile, or abusive environment. Note that the harasser can be anyone that is associated with the workplace, even contractors such as vendors or repairmen. Also, anyone may file a harassment complaint, no matter if they witnessed it or were the subject of it.

Takeaway

Florida law protects employees from discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, national origin, age, disability, or marital status. You should work with an experienced employment lawyer to protect your rights. You may be entitled to recover damages, such as lost wages, lost benefits, compensation for non-economic injuries (such as mental anguish, embarrassment, humiliation, and emotional pain and suffering), along with punitive damages, attorney’s fees, and costs.

Contact an Experienced Employment Discrimination Attorney

If an employer has discriminated against you under Florida or federal law, you should speak with an experienced employment law attorney at Florin Gray Bouzas Owens, LLC. An FGBO lawyer can tell you whether your claim has merit and what steps to take to protect your rights. An experienced employment discrimination lawyer may be able help you obtain compensation for your treatment and injuries. Contact an employment discrimination law attorney at Florin Gray Bouzas Owens, LLC today.

At Florin Gray Bouzas Owens, our legal team is dedicated to the pursuit of justice for the people we represent. Our law firm has more than 100 years of combined experience successfully representing clients in employment law matters.  And we operate differently than many law firms, always putting the best interests of our clients first. Contact us today.

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