Florida Civil Rights Act (FCRA)

The FCRA represents Florida’s counterpart to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (discussed above), and prevents workplace discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap, and marital status.  To be subject to the FCRA, an employer must employ 15 or more employees for each working day in each of 20 or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year.  The FCRA is enforced by the Florida Commission on Human Relations (FCHR), and any lawsuit brought under the FCRA must first be filed with the FCHR (or dual-filed with the FCHR and EEOC) as an administrative proceeding.  A violation of the FCRA may subject the employer to: (1) an injunction, (2) the payment of compensatory damages including, but not limited to, damages for mental anguish, loss of dignity, and any other intangible injuries, (3) the payment of punitive damages (not to exceed $100,000); and (4) the payment of the plaintiff’s attorney’s fees and costs.