Discrimination In The Florida Workplace
In this article, you can discover:
- How to identify potential signs of workplace discrimination and the importance of comparable situations.
- The critical steps to take if you believe you’ve been a victim of workplace discrimination.
- The protection rights you hold if you become disabled while working and the responsibilities of your employer in such situations.
How Can An Employee Determine If They Have Been Subjected To Discrimination At Work?
Discrimination in the workplace can manifest in various ways. One effective approach to identify it is by finding a comparator. A comparator is someone who shares the same job title, supervisor, location, and work history as you, but is treated more favorably despite engaging in the same conduct.
It’s more than just observing that employees of a different race or age are treated better. A robust comparator is essential, and sometimes an additional statement or action from the employer can provide further evidence.
For instance, in an age discrimination case, if a supervisor hints at needing younger employees or mocks older workers, these can be indicators. However, discrimination cases are complex, and circumstances do matter, which is why consulting an attorney is crucial.
What Steps Should Someone Take If They Suspect Workplace Discrimination?
The initial step you should take is to consult an attorney to review the details. Every discrimination case is unique, making it challenging to provide a one-size-fits-all guide. A foundational element is proving you were treated differently due to your membership in a protected category.
After discussing your situation with an attorney, if they believe there’s a potential discrimination claim, the next course of action is to file a discrimination charge with bodies like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the Florida Commission on Human Relations.
This process is essential to preserving your right to sue. A seasoned employment lawyer can help guide you through this crucial stage.
Can A Discrimination Claim Be Against A Coworker Or The Actual Company?
While it’s possible for a discrimination or hostile work environment case to arise based on a coworker’s actions, the legal action is generally directed at the company. This is because, under the law, companies are accountable for their employees’ actions.
When pursuing compensation for damages, it’s more practical to target the entity with the financial resources to cover such payments. While the coworker or supervisor might be central to the claim and may face consequences internally, the company is the one who will be held financially accountable.
Are Employees Protected From Job Loss Due To A Disability?
Yes, employees in Florida have various rights if they become disabled at work. Workers’ compensation laws protect individuals who are injured on the job.
Additionally, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) offers up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for those with a serious health condition, protecting their employment during this period. Eligibility criteria for FMLA do exist, such as having worked at the company for a minimum of a year.
Further, the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) offers protection for those with disabilities, allowing them to request reasonable accommodations from their employers to help them perform their job roles. However, these accommodations shouldn’t place undue hardship on the employer. It’s important to consult with legal experts to understand and navigate these protections effectively.