Disability Discrimination Law in Florida For Employees
Serving You and The State of Florida
Discrimination in the workplace for disability is not legal in the state of Florida. Businesses cannot break federal law by acting in a discriminatory way toward those who have disabilities who are employed at their company or who are seeking a job at the business. Florida law specifically provides protection for disabled persons, and federal law should be followed by all Florida employers when hiring, managing, and compensating people with disabilities in the workplace.
If you have been the victim of disability discrimination in the state of Florida, you need to seek the counsel of a skilled legal professional right away. The team at the Lopez Law Group has years of experience with cases related to discrimination in the workplace based on disability. We can help you to address your concerns about discrimination in your workplace and help you receive back pay and other benefits that you might have been denied.
Which Laws Protect Against Disability Discrimination in the Workplace?
There are various laws that protect those with disabilities against discrimination in the workplace. Title I of the American With Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibits employers from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities who are applying for jobs or job training. This law also protects these individuals from being hired or fired based on these attributes.
Florida law protects those with disabilities in the workplace as well through the Florida Civil Rights Act. The CRA makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against workers or potential hires based on handicaps, among various other factors. While the FCRA does not define disability or handicap, it does make provisions for the accommodation of employee needs related to reasonable accommodations in the workplace. Undue hardship is also covered under Florida law in an effort to make things fair for employers who cannot make accommodations for employee needs based on limitations they cannot resolve.
These acts cover more than just the workplace and make the same requirements for public lodging, public food service establishments, and other businesses. The ADA has worked hard to create a reality wherein those with handicaps or disabilities are able to engage in the activities that they wish to do on a daily basis without limitation. This work applies equally to public spaces and places of employment.
What Are Some Examples of Disability Discrimination in the Workplace?
There are various actions that can be taken against someone in the workplace who has a disability that are considered to be harassment or discrimination. These are some of the examples of these behaviors in the workplace:
- Negative or offensive remarks being spoken aloud or sent in emails or correspondence
- Joking about disabilities
- Blocking someone from using spaces in the business
- Telling someone that they are not welcome to participate in activities due to their disability
- Refusing to provide reasonable accommodation
- Refusing to hire someone based on their disability
- Passing over someone for promotion due to their disability
- Leaving someone out of team discussions or projects due to their disability
These are not the only ways that someone might experience discrimination in the workplace based on their disability. If you feel that your workplace is toxic or that other forms of discrimination are being used against you as you work, you need to speak with a skilled lawyer today. There are many possible ways that you could experience this kind of illegal treatment in the workplace, and you should not discount your experiences just because they are not on the list above.
It does not matter who is denying you the support that you need to work in comfort or who has been leveling abuse or harassment at you each day. Your own peers might be the source of your workplace discrimination experience, but managers and top leadership in the company can also be to blame. No one is exempt from following the guidelines set out by the EEOC, ADA, and Florida state law. Anyone who violates these laws should be held accountable for their actions.
Which Kinds of Medical Conditions Count as Disabilities?
There are a wide array of covered conditions that are part of the EEOC guidelines surrounding workplace disability. Some medical conditions are hard to define based on the ADA and EEOC guidelines. These are areas where there might be a dispute with a place of business that is not versed in the kinds of medical conditions that require accommodation. If you believe that you deserve reasonable accommodation for a health condition but are not receiving it at your place of employment, you will need to speak to the team at Lopez Law today.
The EEOC is willing to speak with those who believe that they are not being offered accommodation that they are entitled to. However, an experienced lawyer will also know about the kinds of accommodations that are required to be offered to disabled workers in the state of Florida. Either of these points of contact can be useful if you are not able to seek accommodation at your place of employment.
Accommodation might not be possible in some cases due to laws that protect the employer from hardship or excessive expense related to these accommodations. This does not apply to the standard requests that most employees have related to their disability, but there are instances where an employer is within their rights to deny accommodation. This does not mean that there cannot be a compromise between the employer and employee, however. This kind of compromise might be possible during a settlement hearing but might also require that a private lawsuit be brought against the employer in question.
Can Employers Retaliate Against Employees Who Report Them?
If you have reported your employer for a violation of the various laws that protect those with disabilities in the workplace, your employer cannot retaliate against you. This is one of the key aspects of the protections that are offered by these laws. Being able to serve as a whistleblower is essential for reporting these cases and having them addressed. Employers who retaliate against employees who report them can be cited for this action, as well as the other actions that led to the original complaint.
If you have reported your employer and subsequently been fired, the team at Lopez Law can help. We have represented many such cases over the years and can work hard to get you your job back or to hold your employer accountable for this illegal action. There are a variety of different resolutions that can be sought for this kind of illegal activity, and we support our clients with regard to the solution that they wish to seek.
What Steps Must be Taken to Report Discrimination Against Disabilities in the Workplace?
The first step that you should take if you have suffered discrimination in the workplace is to report the action or inaction to the HR department at your place of employment. The human resources team will need to investigate and respond to the accusations with a resolution on your behalf. If HR does not offer a resolution of any kind, does not respond, or the actions that are illegal continue, next steps can be taken.
At this stage, you should usually report to the EEOC. The EEOC will open a case and do an investigation into the accusation that you have brought against your employer. If there are grounds for discipline, the EEOC will work to find a resolution or a settlement that is equitable for both parties. Employers could be fined and could be forced to provide back pay and other benefits that are due to the complainant.
If you are not happy with the settlement that has been offered to you, you can secure a lawyer and bring a lawsuit against your employer. You must receive a “right-to-sue” letter from the EEOC, which affords you permission to sue your employer. Claims that you have submitted to the FCHR at a state level do not always have to be finalized before you can proceed to the next steps of your case. The lawsuit process can be customized more to your unique demands and might require that your employer submit to large fines and bigger changes to workplace policy. This is often the desired way to seek a resolution for this kind of case.
At Lopez Law, we can help you to determine what your demands are going to be in order to consider your situation rectified. You might not want to remain employed at this place of business, but they might owe you money and other forms of compensation. You might also be unwilling to stay employed at the company in question, but you want to make sure that they change their policies related to people who work for them who have disabilities. If you are struggling with someone specific in the workplace who is harassing you or making your daily work activities difficult or uncomfortable, this matter can be addressed through a lawsuit as well.
Holding the right parties accountable and seeking to address an issue of this magnitude is something that we take very seriously. We work hard to make sure that you are able to work in comfort each day, and we also want to make sure that you are able to seek the accommodations that you require to be allowed to do your job.
Know Your Timelines and Seek Advice
The laws regarding disability discrimination in the workplace are quite clear, but the process of reporting your employer can be complicated. If you are not sure when to report your employer or what kinds of information you need to have in hand to do so, you can reach out to a lawyer right away. We can offer you the guidance that you need to present information for a report and help you to determine what kinds of resolution you should pursue related to your experience. Knowing the timelines related to these cases and being sure to act in accordance with the reporting process can help to make sure that your claims are addressed correctly.
Seeking advice about this kind of issue is very normal, and it is actually recommended. Since there are a variety of different legal precedents that protect your work experience and your workplace needs, you might need some assistance in understanding which laws protect which parts of your claim. You will be asked to describe the issue that has taken place and be able to provide evidence about the violations in question. Knowing more about the law and the treatment that you are entitled to can help you to present the right information in a timely manner during your report.
Working With a Skilled Lawyer is a Requirement for Disability Discrimination Cases
If you have experienced discrimination in the workplace based on a disability, you need to make sure that you are working with an experienced lawyer to help represent your case. You will also need to ensure that you have reported the incident to the employer and the EEOC before you can bring a private lawsuit against your place of employment. There are various ways that you might seek compensation or redress for the actions that were taken against you. The team at Lopez Law Group can help you to choose the right requests for your unique needs and experience.
No matter what kind of resolution you are attempting to secure related to workplace disability discrimination, you need to be sure that you have the right lawyer on your side. Whether you are prepared to bring a lawsuit against your employer or you are looking for guidance regarding the information to submit to the EEOC for a complaint, we can help! The team at Lopez Law has years of experience working on these cases and can help you through each step of the process.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation. Let us help you to get the compensation and resolution that you deserve related to your case regarding disability discrimination in the workplace.
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