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Florida Business Owner Owes $365,000 for Racial Discrimination and Retaliation

A recent case in Florida demonstrates that penalties can be severe for employers who violate federal and state discrimination laws and that victims of discrimination and retaliation can receive substantial compensation. The owner of the Florida-based company, Southeast Showclubs, LLC, which ran the Bliss Cabaret and other adult entertainment clubs, allegedly fired an African-American bartender specifically because of her race. The manager that had originally hired the bartender openly opposed the firing and the discriminatory policies of the club owners, and he was subsequently suspended from his job and eventually fired due to his opposition.

Firing or taking any adverse employment action against a person based on their race is in direct violation of both Florida anti-discrimination laws as well as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Taking adverse action against someone in retaliation for opposing unlawful employment practices also violates these laws. This particular case was handled by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission at the federal level and the case was brought against the club owners on behalf of the violated employees in United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida. Because the company owners never responded to the lawsuit or related allegations, the court entered a default judgment for both the former bartender and former manager totaling just over $365,000 in monetary damages.

Discrimination And Retaliation Can Take Many Forms

Both of the above parties were blatantly fired for discriminatory or retaliatory reasons, so the adverse action against them was clear and obvious. However, discrimination and retaliation can occur in many other ways besides termination. Some other examples of adverse employment actions include the following:

  • Refusal to hire;
  • Denial of promotion;
  • Demotion;
  • Denial of deserved pay or benefit increase;
  • Pay or benefit decrease;
  • Poor treatment or harassment by management;
  • Reassignment to a less desirable position;
  • Having more work assigned than others in a similar position; and
  • Suspension without pay.

It is important to note that, while suspension without pay is considered to be an adverse action, many courts around the U.S. have ruled that suspension with pay does not count as an adverse action because there is no monetary loss.

While some discriminatory or retaliatory actions are more obvious than others, any victims of this type of unlawful behavior in the workplace deserve to receive full compensation for the violation of their rights. In many cases, the defendant will respond and present defenses against the allegations, including presenting other justification for the adverse action. An experienced employment lawyer will know how to demonstrate that these justifications are merely pretextual and show that you were, in fact, the victim of unlawful employment actions.

Discuss Your Case With A Plantation, Florida Employment Attorney Today

Too many employees who suffer unlawful discrimination or retaliation believe that they have no legal options. In reality, you have the legal right to seek compensation for lost wages, lost benefits, and other losses you incurred as a result of the wrongful action. Please call 954-617-6017 to discuss your situation with the Law Offices of Robert S. Norell, P.A. in Plantation as soon as possible.

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