Employers in Tampa, FL, are required to engage in fair labor practices by state and federal laws. These laws are designed to govern the relationship between employer and employee to maintain a level playing field for both parties. Unfortunately, some Florida employers feel they don’t have to comply with the laws and abuse the relationship with their employees. The abuses include employment discrimination, sexual harassment, and employment agreements. Employees who suffer at the hands of their employers don’t have to accept these conditions, especially when they’re afforded legal rights to be free from these issues.
An employee who feels they have been treated poorly by their employer can take action and file a claim. This can be done with the help of an employment lawyer in Tampa to ensure the claim is properly filed with the right employment commission. The state of Florida has passed a law under its Civil Rights Act that protects employees under federal employment laws. That means a lawyer can file a claim at the federal or state level on your behalf, depending on which legal path makes the most sense.
Employment Law Actions You Can Take Against an Employer
Employment law violations come in various classifications. You can take legal action against an employer who violates any one of the following laws regarding employment:
- Employment discrimination
- Sexual harassment
- Disability discrimination
- Age discrimination
- Employment agreement
- Family leave discrimination
- Wrongful termination
- Wage and hour claims
- Whistleblower claims
If you feel that you’re being treated unfairly by your employer through any of the above actions, contact an employment lawyer in Tampa for help. You should talk to an employment lawyer even if your situation doesn’t fit neatly into a single category. The laws protecting employees from bad employers are broad, and your case likely falls under one or more of the hostile workplace conditions outlined by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Filing a Claim for Illegal Actions Made by an Employer
As previously mentioned, the state of Florida allows employees to make a claim at the state and federal levels. The EEOC handles claims at the federal level, and the Florida Commission on Human Relations (FCHR) handles claims at the state level. A claimant can file a claim at both agencies provided they notify the other agency of their intent to cross-file.
As a general rule, claims against employers who have less than 15 employees are filed at the state level, while claims against employers with more than 15 employees are filed at the federal level. It’s best to retain an attorney to go over your case and determine which commission is the right one for filing a claim. There may be an advantage to filing at the state level as opposed to the federal level and vice-versa.
There are steps you have to take before you can file a claim against your employer. The first step is to approach your supervisor or manager to discuss the issue and ask that a correction is made to fix the situation. This can be asking people to stop making inappropriate comments, accommodate a disability, or make good on unpaid wages.
This step may not be a comfortable one, but you have to be able to show that you made an attempt to make coworkers or superiors behave in an appropriate manner, no matter what the core issue may be. You may wish to consult with an employment attorney to learn how to handle this step and what you should do next. Ultimately, you have to notify your employer of the problem and give them an opportunity to fix it before filing a claim.
In the event your employer fails to take corrective action, you can take the next step and file a claim with the EEOC or the FCHR to take action. By law, an employer can’t fire you while your claim is open, and if they do, it’s considered retaliatory and adds to your employment claim.
What You Need to File a Claim
After you’ve given your employer a chance to correct the problem and they fail to do so, you can start your claim. You’ll need to show proof that there is a basis for your claim of an employment law violation, which can come in various forms. Florida is a two-party consent state when it comes to making a recording of a conversation in private; still, a recording can be made when there’s no reasonable expectation of privacy, such as in a public setting. However, Florida laws regarding recordings of a conversation are specific, and you should get guidance from an employment lawyer in Tampa for advice on collecting evidence for your claim.
In the event a recording isn’t possible, documentation is the best evidence to show that an employer has been breaking the law. Start collecting documentation, no matter if it’s texts, screenshots of communications, emails, or any other form of contact between you and your employer. You can take this step before you notify your employer of your complaint in order to demonstrate adverse working conditions and any failure to correct them after notifying them.
Also, please take note of anyone who witnessed an incident and write down their names as soon as possible. If you had to seek medical treatment as the result of a hostile work environment, collect your records so you can show proof of medical care. Include anything that may relate to your claim, even if it seems remotely related. Something that may not seem relevant now can be the cornerstone of your case as it progresses.
Time is of the essence when it comes to filing your claim. State law gives you one year to file your claim with the FCHR, and the EEOC only gives you 180 days. Both clocks start when you experience an action violating employment laws. After you’ve filed a claim, you have four years from the date of the incident to bring a lawsuit against your employer, although this can change depending on the findings of the FCHR.
Contact the Feldman Legal Group Today for Help
Federal and state laws are designed to provide employees with protection and rights that are designed to keep a place of employment a civil place to work. At Fedlman Legal Group, we work hard to stand up against employers who don’t respect employment laws and maintain a hostile work environment. Call us today to speak to an employment lawyer in Tampa to discuss the details of your case and learn how we can help you file a claim for employment law.