Miami Lawyers Fighting for the Rights of Employees
Job applicants and employees in Miami-Dade County have protection from discrimination based on their age under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) and the Florida Civil Rights Act (FCRA), which is found at Florida Statutes Section 760.10. If you have suffered from age discrimination in your workplace, you should consult the Miami age discrimination lawyers at Phillips & Associates. You may be able to file a lawsuit under Florida and/or federal law.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act
If you are over 40, you have protection under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA). The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces and administers the ADEA. The ADEA covers employers with at least 20 employees. The ADEA prohibits discriminating based on age in pre-employment inquiries, apprenticeship programs, and ads or job postings, unless age counts as a bona fide occupational qualification that is reasonably needed for normal business operations. Similarly, employers cannot deny benefits to older employees.. Discrimination can occur in connection with any employment decision, whether it be hiring, termination, layoffs, promotions, training programs, or pay. For example, if you are not promoted when you are 55, while your employer talks about needing “fresh faces” in management to keep up with the times, you may have a claim under the ADEA.
There are also highly specific requirements for ADEA waivers to ensure that the employee truly understands the waiver and is agreeing to waive their ADEA rights voluntarily. Sometimes these waivers are presented in the form of severance agreements. You should consult an age discrimination attorney in Miami about whether you should sign such an agreement.
The law applies to private employers and companies, as well as the federal government, and to employers that are considered local and state government entities. If you wish to file suit in Florida Federal Court, you need to file a charge with the EEOC within 300 days of the incident.
The Florida Civil Rights Act (FCRA)
While the ADEA protects only employees who are at least 40 years old, and it applies only to employers with a minimum of 20 employees and the federal government, the Florida Civil Rights Act covers employees of all ages and employers with a minimum of 15 employees.
Under the Florida Civil Rights Act, employers also cannot classify, segregate, or restrict work, based on an employee’s or applicant’s age in a way that would bar them from employment opportunities or negatively affect their status as employees. A Miami age discrimination attorney can advise you on whether your employer may have violated this rule.
Employers also cannot refuse to hire or fail to hire somebody based on his or her age. Similarly, employers (and employment agencies) are not allowed to print or publish advertisements or notices for employment that discriminate based on age. However, as with federal law, if there is a bona fide occupational qualification that is reasonably needed to do a certain job, and the discriminatory conduct based on age is related to that bona fide occupational qualification, the discrimination is not illegal.
If you win a lawsuit under Florida law, you are entitled to recover lost wages, any damages mentioned in your contract, compensatory damages, and a maximum of $100,000 in punitive damages. Under federal law, punitive damages are capped at $300,000 depending on the size of the employer.
Retain a Knowledgeable Age Discrimination Attorney
Sometimes employers have misguided ideas about what workers of different ages bring to the table. This bias is unwarranted and illegal. The age discrimination lawyers at our Miami office can help you hold an employer accountable for taking discriminatory actions against you based on your age. Call Phillips & Associates at (866) 229-9441 or complete our online form. We represent clients on a contingency fee basis, which means that we do not take attorneys’ fees unless we successfully secure a settlement or verdict on your behalf.
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