Employment Laws That Do Not Apply to Small Employers in Florida
No matter how long you have been part of the workforce, you are aware that there are various laws at the federal and state level that protect you as an employee. Some are statutes that are enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the Florida Commission on Human Relations (FCHR). These agencies are charged with investigating and addressing issues related to employment discrimination. Plus, there are additional laws that apply to workers that cover wages, overtime, family and medical leave, and other non-discrimination topics.
However, many of these statutes only protect employees who work for larger companies. They include language setting the minimum number of workers, and you might find that certain laws are not applicable where you work. You should discuss your circumstances with a West Palm Beach employment discrimination lawyer if you have concerns about treatment at your job. It is also crucial to know what laws may not apply to your situation.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act: This statute is one of the most prominent of the anti-discrimination laws because it covers many protected characteristics. Title VII provides that an employee may pursue an employer for damages if it mistreats an employee because of:
- Race or ethnic group;
- Gender, sex, and sexual orientation;
- Nationality; and,
- Many other characteristics.
Title VII also includes provisions on protected activities, holding employers accountable if they discriminate against a worker for certain types of conduct. However, the law only applies to companies that have 15 or more employees.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): Disability was not included as a protected characteristic in Title VII, but lawmakers passed a federal law to cover it in 1978. The Americans with Disabilities Act initially only applied to employers with 25 or more employees. Since 1990, it has protected workers at smaller companies. Currently, ADA mandates that employers with 15 or more workers must comply with its requirements.
Companies that discriminate on the basis of disability can be held liable through an EEOC charge or other legal action. Plus, under ADA, an employer must provide reasonable accommodations if requested by a worker with a disabling medical condition.
Non-Discrimination Laws: There are additional employment laws in Florida that kick in based upon the number of employees. The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which applies to companies with 50 or more workers, requires an employer to return an employee to the same position after taking time off. There are also workers’ compensation laws in Florida, which pay benefits to injured employees. Certain requirements only apply when a company has at least 4 workers.
Our South Florida Employment Discrimination Attorneys Will Advise You
While anti-discrimination and employment laws may not apply to all employees, you do have rights in most situations. To learn more about them, please call Sconzo Law Office at 561-279-6114 or check out our firm online. We are happy to set up a no-cost case review at our location in Palm Beach Gardens. After learning more about your case, we can advise you on options.