Representing Individuals in State & Federal Courts Throughout Florida
The attorneys at BT Law Group are experienced employment lawyers who handle a broad range of single-plaintiff and class/collective action employment cases before federal and state courts, administrative agencies, and arbitral tribunals. Some examples of discrimination cases include:
- Age. When making employment decisions, taking the applicant’s or employee’s age into consideration to treat that individual less favorably may violate the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Florida Civil Rights Act, or local law.
- Sex/Gender. Treating an applicant or employee differently because of his or her sex/gender when making decisions that impact the applicant or employee’s terms or conditions of employment, may support a claim of discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Florida Civil Rights Act, or local law.
- Race. Federal and state laws prohibit employers from making adverse employment decisions regarding an applicant or employee’s terms and conditions of employment because of his or her race. Treating an employee or applicant less favorably because of his or her race may be unlawful under federal, state, and local laws.
- National Origin. Federal, state, and local laws prohibit employers from treating applicants or employees differently because: (1) they were born outside of the United States, including in U.S. territories; (2) their parents or ancestors were born outside of the United States; (3) they have a different ethnicity or accent; or (4) they appear to be from a certain ethnic background (even if they are not). Treating an applicant or employee less favorably for these reasons may subject an employer to liability for national origin discrimination.
- Disability and Reasonable Accommodation. Federal, state, and local laws provide certain protections to individuals with a covered or perceived disability. These laws apply to both job applicants and employees. If an employee is disabled as defined by the law, employers are required to provide a reasonable accommodation to this individual unless it would impose an undue hardship to do so. Failing to accommodate a disabled individual may subject an employer to a legal claim.
- Pregnancy. Federal, state, and local laws prohibit pregnancy discrimination in the workplace. An employer cannot discrimination against an applicant or employee on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Failure to comply with these laws may subject the employer to liability.
- Sexual Harassment. Sexual harassment in the workplace may appear in different ways, including unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and verbal and physical harassment. Federal, state, and local laws prohibit sexual harassment in the workplace and provide a legal recourse for victims of sexual harassment.
- Gender Identity/Non-Conformity. Treating employees or applicants differently because of their gender identity may support a claim of discrimination. While Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”) does not expressly protect gender identity or gender expression from discrimination, courts have found that Title VII protects applicants or employees against discrimination based on sexual stereotyping and failure to conform to gender norms, such as how a person of a certain sex should dress or behave. As such, discrimination against a transgender employee or applicant could be covered by Title VII.
- Hostile Work Environment. A hostile work environment may be created by communications, actions or behaviors from colleagues, members of management or third-parties that alter the terms and conditions of an employee’s work environment. For the workplace to be considered hostile under the law, the inappropriate conduct generally must go beyond casual joking or rude comments. In addition, it must be based upon a characteristic that is protected under the law, such as race, gender, or national origin.
- Religion and Religious Belief. Religious discrimination in the workplace occurs when an employer treats applicants or employees differently or less favorably because of their religion or sincerely held religious beliefs. The law also protects applicants or employees who have sincerely held beliefs toward religion, ethics, and morality, but are not affiliated with any organized group.
- Failure to Accommodate Request Based on Religious Belief. A form of religious discrimination is when an employee requests an accommodation based on his or her sincerely held religious belief, for instance, to not work on Saturdays if it is the employee’s Sabbath, and the employer fails to offer a reasonable accommodation. Employers must provide a reasonable accommodation unless doing so would cause an undue hardship.
- Sexual Orientation. Sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace happens when an employer treats applicants or employees differently or less favorably because of their sexual orientation (e.g., gay, lesbian, transgender, etc.). It also includes any comments, different treatment, or harassment based on the employee’s sexual orientation.
- Marital Status. While marital status discrimination is not specifically protected under federal law, there are several scenarios in which marital status discrimination may indirectly arise. For example, discrimination based on sex, which is covered by federal, state, and local laws.