Discrimination FAQs

  • What is discrimination?
  • In a general sense, discrimination refers to the unfair treatment of or the denial of normal privileges to members of a protected classes. Legally, there are generally four elements to a discrimination claim in the employment context:  (1) protected class; (2) tangible or intangible employment action; (3) causal link between the protected class and employment action; and (4) damages.

  • Which are the protected classes?
  • The so-called protect classes can be established by: (1) constitutional provision, Federal or State; (2) Executive Order, President or Governor; (3) Statutory provision, Federal or State; or (4) county ordinance.

    For example, the Federal Civil Rights Act makes race, color, religion, sex and national origin protect classes. The Florida Civil Rights Act makes race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, national origin, age, handicap, and marital status protected classes. There are numerous additional statutes that created protected classes- ADEA, FMLA, FLSA, ADA.

  • What are tangible employment actions?
  • Tangible employment actions refer to material change in terms and conditions of your employment.  For example, refusal to hire, demotion, decrease in pay, and termination. Intangible employment actions are what people typically think of when they use words like “harassment” or “hostile work environment.”

  • What types of damages are recoverable in discrimination cases?
  • Damages that are recoverable in discrimination cases depends upon the specific statute. Generally, employees that are victims of discrimination are entitled to recover: back pay, front pay, compensatory damages, punitive damages, and attorney’s fees and costs.

  • How do I initiate an employment discrimination claim?
  • The first step in initiating an employment discrimination claim is to file a “charge” with the Florida Commission on Human Relations (“FCHR”) or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (“EEOC”). Generally, an employee should file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC within 180 calendar days from the day the discrimination took place to file the charge. An employee has 365 calendar days from the day the discrimination took place to file the charge with the FCHR.  A charge for discrimination can be filed in person at any field office or by the mail.

  • What is USERRA?
  • “USERRA” is the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act. USERRA protects from discrimination and retaliation employees that: (1) are a past or present member of the uniformed services; (2) have applied for membership in the uniformed service; or (3) are obligated to serve in the uniformed services. If the employee meets one of the foregoing qualification, then the employer cannot deny the employee any of the following because of the qualification: (1) initial employment; (2) reemployment; (3) retention in employment; (4) promotion; or (5) any benefit of employment. Furthermore, USERRA protects from retaliation, anyone assisting in the enforcement of USEERA rights to include testifying or making a statement in connection with a proceeding under USERRA, even if that person has not service connection.

    USERRA also provides reemployment for an employee that leaves his civilian job to perform service in the uniformed service when: (1) the employee ensures the employer receives advance written or verbal notice of service; (2) the employee has five years or less of cumulative service in the uniformed services while with the employer; (3) the employee returns to work or applies for reemployment in a timely manner after the conclusion of service; and (4) the employee is not separated from service with a disqualifying discharge or under other that honorable conditions. If eligible for reemployment, the employee must be restored to the job and benefits he would have attained if he had not been absent due to mitary service or, in some cases, a comparable job.

Orlando Workplace Discrimination Attorney

Do you believe you have been discriminated against by your employer in Orlando, Winter Park, Kissimmee or anywhere in Central Florida? Call our Orlando workplace discrimination lawyer today at 866-680-4LAW to discuss your case. You may also fill out the online form provided at the top of this page and we will contact you shortly. We respond to after-hours messages promptly. Evening or weekend appointments are available on request. We offer a free consultation and we will keep all your information confidential.

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