Do I Have an Employment Discrimination Claim?

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Sadly, discrimination in the workplace is an all-too-common occurrence in our country.  There are, however, a number of employment laws that protect workers who may be facing sexual harassment or workplace discrimination based upon a protected characteristic like race or gender.  

In this article, we are going to discuss what types of workplace conduct is, and what type of conduct is not, considered actionable workplace discrimination.  If, after reading this article, you have more questions about your own situation, then we invite you to call us at Crary Buchanan.  At Crary Buchanan, we are proud of our standard of excellence, which has allowed us to thrive as one of the oldest law firms on Florida’s Treasure Coast.  

Our employment lawyers in Stuart, FL are passionate about giving you the highest quality representation.  Call us today at 772-287-2600, or schedule a free estate consult online with our online contact form

Federal Anti-Discrimination Laws

At the federal level, a number of laws were implemented as a way to protect people from discrimination. Some of the most relevant anti-discrimination laws include the following:

1. Title VII, Civil Rights Act of 1964:  This act made it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against a person on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, or sex.
2. Pregnancy Discrimination Act:  This act made it illegal to discriminate against women due to pregnancy or childbirth. Additionally, it is unlawful to discriminate against a woman for a medical condition relating to pregnancy or childbirth.
3. Equal Pay Act of 1963:  It is unlawful to pay men and women different wages if they are doing the same job in the same workplace.
4. Age Discrimination in Employment Act:  This act makes it illegal to discriminate against a person due to their age, as long as the person is 40 years of age or older.
5. Americans With Disabilities Act:  This act makes it illegal to discriminate against people with qualifying disabilities. This applies to the private sector as well as state and local governments.

Only Certain Employers are Subject to Anti-Discrimination Laws

In order to be subject to federal anti-discrimination laws, an employer must have 15 or more employees, with certain exceptions.  

Specifically, an employer is not subject to age discrimination claims unless they have 20 or more employees.  Also, an employer is subject to citizenship and immigration anti-discrimination laws if they have four or more employees. All businesses must pay women and men equally if they provide the same services in the same workplace, regardless of the number of employees.

Florida’s state anti-discrimination laws apply to all employers who have 15 or more employees.

Florida State Anti-Discrimination Law

In addition to the federal law discussed above, Florida has its own anti-discrimination act, the Florida Civil Rights Act (FCRA). The FCRA was implemented to protect people based on the following categories: 

1. Race
2. Color
3. Religion
4. Sex
5. National origin
6. Age
7. A Handicap
8. Marital status 

An employer is not allowed to fire or refuse to hire an individual, or otherwise discriminate against any individual concerning compensation, terms, conditions, privileges, or employment based on the above characteristics. 

Additionally, the FCRA prohibits employers from limiting, segregating, or classifying employees or potential employees in any way that would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or adversely affect any individual’s status as an employee on the basis of any of the above characteristics. 

If your employer makes an employment decision based on any of the above factors, it is illegal, and you likely have an employment discrimination claim. For example, if your employer fires you because of your religious beliefs, that is illegal. These protections also apply to prospective employees. It is unlawful and in violation of the FCRA to not hire someone because they’re too old.

Keep in mind that it may be a violation of anti-discrimination laws if a current or potential employer asks you any of the following questions during an interview:

1. How old are you?
2. Are you married?
3. Where were you born?
4. Are you a member of a minority group?
5. Do you have any handicaps or disabilities?
6. Are you pregnant?
7. Do you plan on becoming pregnant in the future?
8. Are there any religious holidays that you will need to miss work for?

Keep In Mind, Not Everything Falls Under the Umbrella of Discrimination

If an employer is interviewing people for a potential job and decides that they won’t hire anyone unless they’re wearing green shoes, that would be unusual, but it would not be considered discrimination that violates the law.  

While it seems to be discrimination that would not be permitted, it is not illegal because it is applied equally to everyone, and the employer is not discriminating on the basis of a protected class. If you believe you’re being discriminated against by an employer or a potential employer, please reach out to an employment lawyer in Stuart, FL.

Let Us Help You Evaluate Whether You May Have an Employment Claim

Crary Buchanan is a general practice law firm dedicated to providing quality legal services in the state of Florida. Our lawyers have significant legal experience in virtually every major area of law, and most of our associates are Board Certified by the Florida Bar in their areas of expertise. This breadth of legal experience, coupled with our years of service and dedication in our community, means Crary Buchanan attorneys are miles above the rest. 

If you have more questions or want a dedicated employment lawyer in Stuart, FL, to help you, call 772-287-2600. You can also easily schedule a free consultation online with our simple to use the contact form. We have successfully resolved hundreds of disagreements involving discrimination issues over the years and can boast of many satisfied clients. You can always depend on Crary Buchanan for our honesty, trustworthiness, hard work, and experience. Call today.  

The information in this blog post is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. You should not decide whether or not to contact an attorney based upon the information in this blog post. No attorney-client relationship is formed, nor should any such relationship be implied. If you require legal advice, please consult with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.