What Laws Protect Against Gender And Sex Discrimination In Florida?
Employment discrimination on the basis of protected characteristics is illegal, but there can be some confusion when misconduct involves the worker’s gender and/or sex. While they seem like similar concepts, the distinctions are important. Sex discrimination is mistreatment because of being male or female; gender discrimination occurs when an employee is treated differently because of assigned or preferred gender. Fortunately, the distinctions do not affect your rights. The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) stresses that the laws protect employees from both types of discrimination.
If you have concerns about misconduct directed against you at work, it is important to know the basics about these laws. While your West Palm Beach employment lawyer is pursuing legal remedies, you will have some helpful background. There are multiple statutes that might apply to your case, and a few of the most important ones include:
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act: The main federal law that prohibits discrimination includes a list of protected characteristics, including race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. The EEOC definition of what constitutes sex-based discrimination is expansive, incorporating sexual orientation and gender identity in addition to sex.
With many cases, mistreatment comes in the form of creating a hostile work environment, in which acts of discrimination are offensive and outrageous. You may also have a claim if you were fired or subjected to other adverse action because of sex or gender. In addition, keep in mind that sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination.
Florida Civil Rights Act (FCRA): This state statute closely mirrors the federal Title VII in prohibiting discrimination on account of sex or gender. The key difference is that you file your claim of sex or gender discrimination under state law with the Florida Commission on Human Rights (FCHR) instead of the EEOC. Still, eligible employees can file with either agency because they have a work-sharing agreement to double-up on protecting workers. Your strategy might be affected by time:
- To file with FCHR, you have 1 year from the date of the date that discrimination occurred.
- The time limitation for charges with the EEOC is less, at 300 days.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): Neither sex nor gender is a disability, but there is a related condition that could trigger the ADA: Pregnancy. It is unlawful under Title VII and FCRA for employers to discriminate or take adverse action against someone who is currently pregnant, recently gave birth, or may become pregnant. ADA goes step further to protect employees who develop conditions related to pregnancy, such as diabetes. It also requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations, such as for nursing.
Contact a Palm Beach County Gender and Sex Discrimination Attorney Today
You will have a better understanding of what is going on with your case when you review these basics about the laws. Our team at Sconzo Law Office will explain additional details and how they might affect your rights, so please contact us right away. You can set up a free case review at our offices in Palm Beach Gardens by calling 561-279-6114 or visiting our website.