Florida Employment Discrimination Attorney
Florida employment discrimination attorney Robert S. Norell represents people in state and federal employment discrimination actions throughout the greater Fort Lauderdale area. With over 20 years of experience in this field, we know what types of questions you probably have if you believe you are being victimized by discrimination at work. Below are answers to some of the questions we hear most often. If you have other questions or need help with an employment discrimination matter, call Robert S. Norell at 954-617-6017 for assistance.
Florida Employment Discrimination FAQs
Where do I go to file a discrimination claim?
If your claim involves a violation of state law, the proper agency is the Florida Commission on Human Rights. If you have a federal claim, you will file with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Federal and Florida employment discrimination laws cover many of the same topics, so it is likely that you could file your claim with either agency. Where both state and federal laws apply, the agency you file with will probably dual file your claim with the other agency, so you are covered either way. There are however certain reasons why it may be better to file with one agency or the other, so be sure to talk to an attorney before you file your claim.
In some cases, such as claims under the Equal Pay Act, you are allowed to go straight to court if you wish, but in most instances it is necessary to file an administrative claim first.
What does it mean if the EEOC mails me a “right to sue” letter?
After you file a claim with the EEOC, the agency takes up to around 180 days to investigate your claim and decide whether or not to pursue action against your employer. If the EEOC does not act within that time frame, you will be issued a “right to sue” letter, which authorizes you to pursue a claim on your own directly against the employer. A Right to Sue letter does not mean that you have a good case or a bad case. There are many reasons the EEOC may choose not to pursue a claim, and you should have your claim reviewed by an experienced employment discrimination lawyer to determine whether you should file a lawsuit against your employer.
When can I sue for sexual harassment because my workplace has become a “hostile environment”?
A hostile work environment exists where there is such severe and pervasive unwelcome sexual conduct that it makes the workplace a hostile or intimidating place to be. The workplace must be objectively hostile (a reasonable person would think it was a hostile environment) and subjectively hostile (you actually felt threatened or intimidated). Examples of activities which can create a hostile environment typically include fondling or groping, sexually suggestive remarks, dirty jokes or magazines in the break room, graffiti in the restroom, etc. If you have complained about unwelcome conduct and nothing has been done about it, you should speak to an attorney about your options for putting a stop to sexual harassment and receiving compensation for any harm done to you.
I was nearing retirement when my boss fired me and then replaced me with a younger worker in order to cut down on payroll. Is that legal?
Replacing a higher-paid worker with a less-experienced and therefore cheaper employee in order to save money for the company is sometimes advanced as a legitimate justification for firing an older worker in favor of a younger one, even where the older worker is over 40 and protected by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). However, this method of company cost-savings may not always be allowed, such as if you have pension benefits that are set to vest soon, or if you have health insurance through your employer. An attorney will need to evaluate all of the facts surrounding your particular situation to advise you appropriately about whether you may have a claim of age discrimination.