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What You Need to Know About Miami Workplace Discrimination

Miami workplace discrimination laws, florida laws and the federal laws are meant to apply to millions of workers. Regardless of where you work, what you do or where you’re from, you have the right to work free from harassment or discrimination.

What is workplace discrimination?

Workplace discrimination occurs because someone is treated differently from other employees. This different treatment may be illegal if it is because of their age, sex, religion, race or other factor.

Just because an employer has policies that are applicable to all workers doesn’t mean thats enough. They may be breaking the law if they have a negative impact on a protected class of persons. You should not have to suffer from unfair workplace policies. Specially, if they are not absolutely necessary for the operation of the business.

How do you know if you’re being discriminated?

Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to tell if you are being discriminated against. Some incidents of discrimination may be obvious. However, the majority are done quietly to not attract attention.

If you believe you have been discriminated against in your workplace  speak with a Miami workplace discrimination lawyer. Our team is ready to help, if you would like a free consultation,  get in touch with us. You may be entitled to pursue compensation under federal and state laws. To understand your legal rights and how we can help you, schedule a free, no-obligation consultation just click here.

Types of Miami workplace discrimination

Workplace discrimination in Miami can happen. There are several laws both at the federal and state level that outlaw various forms of this discrimination. But even with all this, discrimination still happens today and it happens often.

Statistics

Employees experience discrimination all the time. Sometimes they find themselves in positions where they feel they can’t speak out. In 2017, there were over 84,000 workplace discrimination claims. Just to show how repressed workers are in speaking out, workplace retaliation claims topped the list of charges.

Speak out

If you are discriminated against in the workplace, it is your right to speak out. Even if your employer tries to retaliate against you for speaking out, you may be able to file a separate charge against them for the retaliation.

EEOC

The US Equal Opportunity Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was established to make sure you will be heard. Same as the Florida Commission on Human Relations (FCHR). As an employee, the workplace discrimination laws have given you all you need to protect yourself from discrimination.

Here are some of the areas where you are protected from different or unfair treatment:

Sexual discrimination

In 2017, sexual discrimination claims make up 30.4% of claims filed. It was the fourth highest category of workplace discrimination claims. Sexual discrimination does not just involve promotions, pay, firing or hiring decision primarily on sex, it can also involve sexual harassment.

According to the EEOC, sexual harassment victims received more than $46 million in compensation in 2017. If you believe that you have been subject of unfair workplace practices because of your sex,  you have the right claim compensation and should contact a Miami workplace discrimination attorney immediately.

Religious discrimination

Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, employers cannot discriminate against their employees on the grounds of religion. Employment decisions should not be made on the because of a person’s religious affiliation or beliefs.

The law requires employers to reasonably accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs. They can only refuse to accommodate if they cause undue hardship for the company.

You should not be subject to intimidation, abuse, slurs or insult because of your religion. You are entitled to be in a safe, accommodating work environment, free from harassment.

Race, color or natural origin discrimination

The Civil Rights Act also protects your right to freedom from discrimination. It protects from unfair acts based on  your race, color or natural origin. You may be discriminated on this account in many different ways.

The law prevents your employer from limiting, classifying or segregating employees on the basis of race, color or origin. They cannot make classifications in a way that may  deprive an employee of opportunities or adversely affect them in their work.

Employers cannot structure hiring or firing practices to favor members of one race over others. They cannot use those practices to prejudice members of one race over others.

Age discrimination

A person can be discriminated against on account of age, especially when they are considered ‘too old’ for employment. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 protects employees over the age of 40 from discrimination in the workplace.

Under the Act, employers may not refuse to hire or force an employee out of employment on account of their age. They may not offer different or adverse terms of employment to an employee solely on account of their age. They cannot also classify them in an adverse manner on that account.

Disability discrimination

The Americans With Disabilities Act prohibits employment discrimination against qualified individuals simply because of their disability. The Act prevents employers from adopting workplace practices or policies that place disabled individuals at an unfair disadvantage.

It also imposes an obligation on employers to reasonably accommodate individuals with disabilities. If you are disabled at the workplace and need some reasonable concession to help cope with your work, your employer should accommodate you. If they don’t, you may have a case for disability discrimination.

Pregnancy discrimination

In Miami, Florida law also protects workers against discrimination solely because of their pregnancy. It is illegal and unlawful to refuse to hire someone who has just given birth or who is pregnant for no other reason than their pregnancy.

An employer should not demote or fire a woman solely because she is pregnant or force her to switch jobs.

Do the Miami workplace discrimination laws apply to your employer?

The workplace discrimination laws do not apply to all employers. Federal law only applies to employers with 20 or more employees in their workplace. All federal law is enforced by the EEOC, meaning that you can only file a claim with the commission if your employer qualifies.

Florida anti-workplace discrimination laws set a lower benchmark however. You may be able to file a claim with the FCHR if your employer has 15 or more employees in the workplace.

How do you file a Miami workplace discrimination claim?

You must file a claim with either the EEOC or the FCHR before you can approach the court for remedy. The two agencies have what is referred to as a ‘work-sharing agreement’. This means that they cooperate to process claims.

By reason of this arrangement, you can file a claim with either agency and both will cooperate to see that it receives attention. This way, you don’t have to file a claim with both agencies.

If you want the claim to go to both, you may simply file with either the EEOC or the FCHR and that you intend to ‘cross-file’. It may be expedient for you to file separately at each due to an existing legal debate over the administrative processes at the state and federal level.

You may either choose to file the claim by yourself or seek the services of a Miami workplace discrimination lawyer. The EEOC has launched an online service that enables you to file and check the status of your claim online. You can access the system here.

Speak with a Miami workplace discrimination lawyer

It may be best if you approach a workplace discrimination attorney to help you file your charge. A Workplace discrimination lawyers has experience in the process involved in filing these claims. They may be able to use that experience to fight for your chances of a positive outcome.

What kind of remedies can you recover from a Miami workplace discrimination?

You can generally recover many potential remedies if your Miami workplace discrimination claim is successful.

These may include the following:

Back pay

Over the period for which you were either unpaid or unfairly paid

Benefits

That you earned over the period that you were wrongly denied, especially if you were misclassified as exempt

Liquidated damages

That would be assessed equal to the amount of back pay that you were owed

Compensatory damages

Expenses

For expenses due to the discrimination such as cost of a new job search

Compensatory damages

For mental anguish, emotional harm and suffering

Cease and desist

Court orders to the employer to cease and desist from harmful or discriminatory employment practices

Prevent further discrimination

Court orders that compel the employer to take steps to prevent further discrimination in the workplace

Punitive damages

Damages against the employer, especially when they intentionally or maliciously under paid or refused to pay you

In Miami, Florida law limits the amount that you can recover for emotional pain and suffering against private employers. Although, your lawyer can help you file the claim in federal court to avoid this. Punitive damages are also capped at $100,000 under state law. Again, it is possible to recover a higher amount of damages under federal law, subject to any caps based on the size of the employer.

What happens after you file a charge with the EEOC?

After you file your charge with the EEOC, they may give you a copy of your charge with the charge number. They may send a notice of the charge along with a copy to your employer within 10 days of filing.

They may then advise you and your employer to take part in a mediation program with a view to settling the dispute. But the EEOC may also ask your employer to provide a written answer to your charge and answer any questions relating to your claim.

What if you don t settle?

If you and your employer fail to settle, an investigation may be commenced. In the course of the investigation, the EEOC may interview witnesses and gather documents. There is no guarantee on how long the investigation will take. However, the length of the investigation will depend on several factors. These would include the amount of information that will need to be gathered and analyzed.

Investigation

However, investigations take an average of 6 months. Mediation will usually enable the charge to be settled much faster, within a period less than 3 months.

If the EEOC determines that discrimination did occur, they will try to reach a voluntary settlement with the employer. And if no settlement can be reached, your charge will be referred to the legal department of the agency. They will decide if a lawsuit should be filed.

File suit

If they decide to file a lawsuit, they will go ahead and do so. If not, you may be issued a ‘Notice of Right to Sue’ which gives you the permission to file a lawsuit.

No cause

If the EEOC, and even the FHCR make a finding of ‘no cause’, you will not be allowed to go to court. Instead, you can only appeal the determination through the administrative appeal process.

The real possibility that your claim may be denied makes it important that you start out on the best possible foot. By reaching out to a qualified Miami workplace discrimination lawyer to plan, prepare and file your claim, you can assure yourself of the best outcome.

How long do you have to file your charge?

300 days

The limitation laws on workplace discrimination limit the amount of time you have to file your discrimination charge. But, in filing a complaint with the EEOC, you will have 300 days from the date of the alleged discriminatory act to file your charge.

90 days

After your case has been determined by the EEOC and a notice of right to sue issued, you will have 90 days to file your lawsuit. But the time will start running from the date that you receive the notice.

180 days

If your case has been pending with the FCHR for 180 days without resolution, you may file a lawsuit. However, you can only do this so long as the FHCR has not already issued a ‘no cause’ finding in your case.

4 years

For a discrimination charge based on state law, you will have 4 years within which you must file your claim. This time will start to run from the date of the alleged discriminatory conduct. So, if the FCHR has issued a ‘probably cause’ finding in your case, you will have 1 year from the date of issue to file.

Statute barred

If your case is not filed before the end of the limitation period, your claim may be statute barred. But this means you may no longer be able to seek or recover compensation for the damage you have suffered.

Contact our Miami workplace discrimination attorneys

At Peregonza Law Group, we believe that no worker should have to suffer from workplace discrimination. This is why we take these matters very seriously and work as hard as we can to help our clients have the best shot at obtaining justice for the wrong done to them.

To discuss how we can help you succeed in your workplace discrimination claim, fill out our free client intake form. Our Miami workplace discrimination lawyers and/ or Doral Employment attorneys will help you understand your rights and how you can assert them.