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Central Florida Discrimination Lawyer

If you work in Orlando or in any other place within the Central Florida area, and you believe you have been discriminated against by your employer, the Central Florida discrimination attorney at the Law Offices of J. Allen can Help!Discriminated in the Workplace? Orlando Employment Attorney Helps Employees with Discrimination Claims Across Central Florida

Discrimination based upon race, color, religion, sex, and national origin is illegal in the United States. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the most widely known federal anti-discrimination law and prohibits employment discrimination based upon race, color, religion, sex, national origin, and retaliation.

Unlawful Discrimination: The Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Title VII covers employers with fifteen (15) or more employees on the payroll for at least twenty (20) weeks during a given year. An "employee," for purposes of Title VII, includes all who "are susceptible to the kind of unlawful practices that Title VII was intended to remedy." The determination of whether an individual is an "employee," for purposes of Title VII, depends largely on whether an employer exercised control over the manner and means by which the person performed the job. Thus, even "independent contractors" may be able to bring claims against the employer under Title VII.

Under Title VII, an employer may be liable for unlawful discrimination based upon the following theories:

  • Discrimination Under the Disparate Impact Theory

Race Discrimination Attorney in Orlando and TampaUnder this theory, an employer can be held liable for discrimination when a person in a protected class is adversely affected as compared to this not in the protected class as a result of an employment practice or policy. Under this theory the employee must demonstrate that an employment practice or policy caused a "disparate impact" on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. The employee does not have to prove that the employer intended to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Rather, the employee must only prove than an employer's employment practice or policy, even though neural on its face, has a negative impact on a protected class member.

An example of disparate impact occurs if an employer requires all of its entire employees to be college graduates. If the majority of minorities in a community are not college graduates then the employment policy may have a disparate impact on the minority population in violation of Title VII.

  • Discrimination Under the Disparate Treatment Theory

Under this theory, an employer can be held liable for discrimination when a member of a protected class establishes than an employer treated him or her differently based upon their race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. An employee is able to prove disparate treatment through either direct evidence, such as statements and documents, or circumstantial evidence. If the employee is able to show that the employer discriminated against him or her based upon a protected category, i.e. race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, then the burden of proof shifts to the employer to articulate a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for its actions. The employee must then demonstrate that the employer's proffered reasons are pre-textual.

Ultimately, the employee must prove that his or her protected class, i.e. race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, was the reason the employment decision was made.

Title VII also has an anti-retaliation provision that protects employees who object to any unlawful discrimination. Title VII makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an employee, or applicants for employment, because the employee opposed or objected to any unlawful employment practice in violation of Title VII.

If an employee engages in any protected activity, such as objecting to or opposing discrimination, filing any charge of discrimination, or participating in an investigation or proceeding arising out of the discrimination, and, as a result, suffers an adverse employment action, then the employer may also be in violation of Title VII for retaliating against the employee. Our Orlando discrimination attorney in Central Florida is very knowledgeable and experienced on this and other discrimination laws, and may be able to help you if you think you have a valid discrimination claim. Contact us today for a free consultation!

Employment Discrimination - Recovering Damages

Among the damages our Central Florida discrimination attorney in Orlando might be able to help an employee recover for bringing a successful action against an employer under Title VII are:

  • Compensatory damages – Compensatory damages may include actual out of pocket pecuniary losses, future pecuniary losses, emotional pain and suffering, and mental anguish.
  • Equitable relief – Equitable relief may include the court ordering the employer to place the employee in the job position he or she would have been in had the discrimination had not occurred. If reinstatement to former position would be unreasonable or inappropriate then the court may award "front pay." Front pay accounts for the time it will take the plaintiff to find a new job along with any pay disparity the plaintiff will suffer due to any career setbacks.
  • Punitive damages – Although punitive damages are not automatic in Title VII cases they are recoverable if a plaintiff demonstrates that the employer engaged in the discriminatory conduct with malice or reckless indifference to the rights of the employee.

Discrimination Laws in Florida

In addition to federal laws covering employment discrimination, the State of Florida has also enacted legislation to protect employees from employment discrimination. The Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992 ("FCRA"), Florida Statutes, Section 760.10. The FCRA is based in large part on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. However, which both the FCRA and Title VII prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, the FCRA also prohibits discrimination on the basis of marital status. The FCRA makes it unlawful to discharge, fail or refuse to hire, or discriminate in "compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment" based on a person's race, color, religion, sex, national origin, handicap, or marital status.

Charges of discrimination alleging violations of Florida law, i.e. violations of the FCRA, must be filed with the Florida Commission on Human Relations ("FCHR") within 365 days of the discriminatory or retaliatory action. Federal charges of discrimination, i.e. violations of Title VII, must be filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") within 300 days of the last act of discrimination or retaliation in Florida (and as few as 180 days in other states).

Once the charge of discrimination is filed, there is a 180 day mandatory waiting period during which the EEOC investigates the charge of discrimination. After its investigation the EEOC usually issues a Notice of Right to Sue. Once the Notice of Right to Sue is received by the claimant he or she has 90 days within which to file a civil action lawsuit.

Contact Our Orlando Discrimination Attorney

If you work within the Central Florida area, including the cities of Orlando and Tampa, and you believe you have been discriminated against by your employer, it is critical that you contact a highly experienced Central Florida employment lawyer as soon as possible. Our Orlando discrimination attorney is very skilled and has helped many clients in the past with discrimination claims. Call us today at (407) 205-2330 for a free evaluation of your case. You may also fill out the online form located at the top of this page and we will contact you shortly. We value your privacy and will keep all your information confidential.

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