No matter where you work or what you do for a living, you shouldn’t have to worry about employment discrimination. But what exactly is employment discrimination? Employment discrimination is the unfair treatment of an employee or employees based on legally protected categories—race, sex, age, nationality, religion, disability—by an employer or another employee.
If you are discriminated against in the workplace in Florida, it’s critical to understand how to file an employment discrimination claim with the Florida Commission on Human Relations (FCHR) or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) so that you can defend your rights.
How to File a Claim
Filing a claim with either the FCHR or EEOC is relatively easy. All you have to do is visit the FCHR website here or the EEOC website here and follow the instructions provided. These agencies have what is known as a “work-sharing agreement,” which means they cooperate and share information about discrimination claims.
As a general rule, you should file your claim with the FCHR first if your workplace employs 15 to 20 people. The EEOC only handles federal law, which covers age discrimination in workplaces with 20 or more employees and other types of discrimination in workplaces with 15 or more employees. Your case may be different, however, so talk to your attorney before filing.
After you file your claim with the EEOC, you and your employer will receive a copy of your claim within ten days. From there, you and your employer may be asked to participate in a mediation program. The EEOC may also ask your employer to answer your charges, after which the case will be assigned to an investigator. If you did not file your claim within the time limit—one year for state cases and 300 days for federal cases—from the date you experienced the discrimination, your case may be dismissed. Investigations take about six months to complete on average, though times vary depending on the case.
Pursuing Your Case in Court
If your claim is not successfully resolved by the FCHR or EEOC, you will need to pursue your case in a Florida court. Before you can pursue a federal lawsuit, the EEOC must first issue a “Dismissal and Notice of Rights” or “Notice of Right to Sue.” Once you have received one of these documents, you have 90 days to file your case with the courts. For state cases, if your claim is pending for more than 180 days, you can file a lawsuit as long as the FCHR did not issue a “no cause” finding for your case. You have four years to file a state case.
Want to discuss your employment discrimination case? Talk to an attorney at Pacin Levine Attorneys at Law today. We will help you determine the best course of action to take so that you can pursue the compensation you deserve. Don’t risk losing your right to seek what you are owed by waiting too long. Talk to us today.