According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the number of discrimination charges in 2011 was up slightly from last year at 99,947 with the highest percentage of complaints falling in the retaliation, race, sex/gender, and ADA/disability categories. Employment discrimination is a real problem in today's world, and many laws have been created over the years to work at combating this growing epidemic in American workplaces.
The federal government has created anti-discrimination and retaliation laws that apply to employers with 15 or more employees, and the EOCC is responsible for enforcing these laws. While most employers honor their responsibilities under the law, other employers start to enact policies to save time or money that have an unlawful impact on certain groups of employees. Employment discrimination can happen in many different ways, and is often affected by economic factors as well.
According to federal law, employers may not discriminate against employees on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, national origin, age, handicap, citizenship status or genetic information. These classifications cannot be used as a deciding factor in employment decisions, but employers are allowed to reject applicants who are not fully qualified for the job. Florida law also prohibits discrimination against employees based on marital status, AIDS/HIV, or sickle cell trait.
One of the most common types of employment discrimination that takes place in Florida is age discrimination against workers who are over 40 years of age. Companies with 20 or more employees are subject to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) that prohibits this specific type of discrimination, and those who feel that they have been the victim of employment discrimination can file a claim with either the Florida Commission on Human Relations (FCHR) or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). These two agencies participate in a "work-sharing agreement" and cooperate with one another to process claims. The charges may be filed in person, by mail or by telephone, and it is important to seek assistance from a Coral Gable employment discrimination lawyer before you file a claim.
In order to be successful, you need a lawyer for your employee discrimination case in Coral Gables. You must also be certain that you have all of the evidence and legal proof required under the law. Here at Mesa Law Firm, we have the resources and knowledge to help you succeed in protecting your rights as an employee. According to the EEOC, a record $455.6 million was recovered in monetary damages for employees and applicants last year through claims that were filed for employee discrimination.
If you have been the victim of employee discrimination, you must not delay to contact a Coral Gables employment discrimination lawyer at our firm immediately. There are strict time limits for these types of claims, and you must file with the FCHR within 365 days of the date you believe that you were discriminated against. There may be additional legal claims that you qualify for which have shorter deadlines, so do not wait to file your claim until your time limit is close to expiring.
Keep in mind that Florida law does not limit the compensatory damages that are recoverable for a discrimination claim. This means that it is critically important for you to have the best legal representation on your side.