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Examples of workplace discrimination in Tampa

two coworkers staring and gossiping about their male colleague

Everyone with a legal right to work in the United States is provided equal employment opportunities.

Workplace discrimination occurs in many forms, ranging from an offensive race-based comment to open hostility toward someone who is a member of a protected category. Workplace discrimination is considered actionable when a) the offense is toward a legally protected class or characteristic and b) the offensive behaviors and choices impact work performance or causes an intimidating, hostile, or unhealthy work environment.

If you think you are the victim of discrimination by your employer, an agency, or a labor union, you may be able to file a complaint if an employer (or responsible party) does not end the conduct.

In addition, the law specifically prohibits an employer from retaliating as the result of harassment or discrimination complaints. It is essential to consult with a workplace discrimination lawyer who can help you evaluate the situation and which employment discrimination law may have been violated.

Workplace discrimination in Tampa

In Florida, Tampa’s Office of Human Rights is the agency that is responsible for enforcing local, state, and federal laws. These are the types of discrimination that you may encounter as an employee working in the City of Tampa –

  • For companies with at least 15 employees, a complaint may be filed for potential workplace discrimination with regard to:
    • Title VII within the Civil Rights Act of l964
    • The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
    • Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009
    • Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA)
  • For companies with at least 20 employees, a complaint may be filed for potential workplace discrimination with regard to –
    • Age Discrimination in Employment Act of l967 (ADEA)

Under the Human Rights Ordinance (Tampa Code), an employer must have 5 employees or more for this regulation to apply. Note, that this ordinance covers the City of Tampa’s employees.

Example of workplace discrimination in Tampa, FL

Workplace discrimination is typically categorized into four primary categories –

  • Racial discrimination
  • Age discrimination
  • Sex and gender discrimination
  • Disability discrimination

There are many examples of workplace discrimination and harassment that can be found in case law –

  • Offensive comments about one’s age.
  • The use of racially derogatory words, slurs, or labels.
  • Paying someone of one sex less than another of different sex who is similarly qualified or performs the same job duties.
  • Being passed over for a job promotion based on a protected class.
  • Disparaging remarks regarding someone’s religion or their lack thereof.
  • Not hiring a qualified applicant because of a disability.
  • Getting fired because of your membership in a protected class.
  • Ethnic/racially-based deprecating words or behaviors.
  • Pejorative remarks about another’s racial or ethnic characteristics, among many others.

What are protected classes?

There are a variety of protected classes, which may differ, based on whether the law is at the federal, state, or local level –

Protect classes according to Federal Law

Title VII advises that an employer may not discriminate against an employee or applicant for employment –

Race Sex Disability (physical)
Color National Origin Disability (mental)
Religion Age (40 or older) Genetic Information

Protect classes according to the Florida Civil Rights Act

The categories of people that the Florida Civil Rights Act protects include all the protected classes \ included at the federal level, plus the following –

Marital Status Persons with AIDS

Protect classes according to the City of Tampa’s Human Rights Ordinance

The classes that are protected by the City of Tampa’s Human Rights Ordinance include all the protected classes at the federal and Florida Civil Rights Act level, plus the following –

Sexual Orientation Gender Identity or Expression Familial Status

It is unlawful to discriminate against anyone of the above-mentioned “protected classes.”

The complainant in a workplace discrimination issue has the right to –

  • Pursue a discrimination charge without retaliation, intimidation, or harassment.
  • Have the contact information (i.e., name and telephone number) of the individual responsible for the investigation of the matter.
  • Know the status of the discrimination case.
  • Provide statements from witnesses with direct information regarding the case during the investigative procedures.
  • Receive full remedy should an act of discrimination be found.
  • Have written notice of any hearing or final action relating to the case, among others.

Have you been the victim of discrimination?

The McDonnell-Douglas test, which references a Supreme Court Decision, isn’t formal but an evidentiary framework in which one can determine the strength of a discrimination case. Answering yes to these four questions suggests you will be able to base your discrimination case on circumstantial, rather than concrete, evidence –

  • Are you a member of one of the protected classes? (For example, one must have a disability to claim disability discrimination.)
  • Do you possess the required qualifications for your position? (For example, are you appropriately licensed?)
  • Has your employer taken adverse action against you?
  • Have you been replaced by someone else who is not a member of your protected class?

 

 


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