Understanding Florida Discrimination Law

Even with all of the advancements and improvements made over the past fifty years to eliminate discrimination and prejudice, it continues to plague our society. Unless you are a healthy young heterosexual Protestant white male you will have experienced discrimination at least once in your lifetime. But don’t let the ignorance and hatred of other people dominate you or aspects of your life; take control, and find an attorney who can help you. The Florida discrimination law is enshrined in several statutes intended to protect you from various forms of manipulation, exploitation and abuse based upon your age, race, gender, religion, or physical abilities. Let’s take a few moments to look at some of these statutes.

In 1992 the State of Florida enshrined into law statutes which protect Floridians from various forms of discrimination. According to Title 44 Chapter 760 of "The 2000 Florida Statutes" (referring to the year 2000) Florida discrimination law makes it illegal for anyone to discriminate based on "race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap, or marital status" in order to protect personal dignity, to ensure that a person is able to be a productive member of society, to protect the state against civil unrest, and to promote the welfare of the general public. Anyone who experiences discrimination along any of these lines has a right to file a complaint with the Florida Commission of Human Relations. Protection from discrimination based upon sexual orientation is not currently included in this law, but efforts are being made to add it.

Housing discrimination has become an increasing problem in Florida. Both Chapter 760, as well as the Florida Fair Housing Act, ensures protection against this problem. If you have attempted to purchase a home, rent an apartment, or obtain a mortgage loan, but were discriminated against for any reason (age, race, disability, etc.) then you have a right to legal recourse because the person has committed a crime.

Another problem commonly experienced in Florida, and across the country, relates to employment. Unequal pay for women and unfair treatment by employers who exploit their workers takes place every day. Laws have been in effect in Florida for decades to protect male and female employees, but this form of discrimination and exploitation continues to be one of the most predominate. The Fair Labor Standards Act, the Equal Pay Act, and the Florida Wage Law were each formulated to protect workers in common situations, such as when working over 40 hours per week an employer is required to compensate with overtime pay, and when a man and women perform the same tasks they should be paid the same income. As of 2005, Florida has also instituted a minimum wage.

Having a better understanding of a few of the statutes of Florida discrimination law will help you to take greater control in situations where you believe you are a victim of discrimination. But you cannot fight it alone. Contact an attorney, and discuss your situation with them. They will help you determine how to proceed.

Thank you and May God bless you!

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