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The first step in the FCHR process will be to write (and file) your Charge of Employment Discrimination. You must act fast, though, because there are strict deadlines.

1.0 | Intro

Good News: The FCHR accepts CODs in any format (eg, handwritten, on form, informal document, etc.).

Better News: TBD has a replica of the FCHR/EEOC standard Charge of Discrimination

✔ Free
✔ Comprehensive

Best News: As of November 1, 2023, the FCHR still accepts CODs by email (Clerk@FCHR.MyFlorida.com; FCHRInfo@FCHR.MyFlorida.com)

1.1 | Protected Characteristics (ie, ‘Charged Bases’)

Florida – under the FCRA – protects people from employment discrimination on the following bases:

age*colordisabilitymarital statusnational originpregnancy**racereligionretaliationsex

see §760.01(2) FS***

In short, you are covered (ie, you have an age; a skin color; a disability status; and so on). However, not every part of you is covered (eg, you're not protected from ‘height’ discrimination in Florida; etc.).

Nevertheless, things that are not specifically covered may still fall under a covered basis. For example, Florida’s statutes do not cover discrimination on transgender status. Yet, the circumstances surrounding such a charge may fit the fact pattern of sex discrimination – which is covered. The following cases establish this particular point:

Fishbaugh v Brevard County, 200434 TBD.F 002
Jacome v Victoria’s Secret, 201542 TBD.F 005
Shepley v Lazy Days RV, 200446 TBD.F 001

This is a very important point. So, keep these pseudo-protections (as well as the explicit protections - from above) in mind.
* note: the FCHR’s age protections cover all ages (ie, 10 year-olds, 20 year-olds, etc.). This is different from the EEOC’s age protections (which - according to the ADA - only cover people who are 40+).

** additional note: In practice, the FCHR often lumps pregnancy discrimination into sex discrimination; other times it lumps it into disability discrimination. Either way, if you’ve faced pregnancy discrimination then Florida law will cover you.

*** final note: there've been recent pushes to include protections for genetic information (a là GINA – a federal law). However, TBD hasn’t listed it here because Florida legislation has yet to explicitly include it (see FLSenate.gov). Nonetheless, since genetic information is closely tied to nationality/race/sex/etc, you can probably still file a Florida discrimination suit under those bases.

1.2 | Checklist for an FCHR Charge of Discrimination

As you draft your COD, check to make sure that you've supplied all of the following information:
☑ Contact Info
☑ Dated
☑ Employer Size (eg, 100 employees)
☑ Location of Events (eg, Florida, etc.)
☑ Signed
see Rule 60Y-5.001(5) FAC.

1.3 | Disclose the Adverse Employment Action

Concisely write the type of act that the defendant committed against you.
Reason: the investigators/officers will be looking for this. Plus, the type of adverse act will impact the type/amount of damages you can recover (eg, back pay vs reassignment, etc.).
Here’s a list of the most common types of adverse employment actions:

1.4 | Analysis of a Sample FCHR Charge of Discrimination

Here’s a real-live COD.1 TBD will analyze it to help illuminate this stage of the FCHR process for you.

Analysis of this Sample COD
1✔ On Time
This litigant successfully filed his COD within Florida's 365-day statute of limitation.


4/10/19 vs 7/1/18 (283 days ≤ 365 days); or - alternatively -

4/10/19 vs 7/31/18 (253 days ≤ 365 days)

{§760.11(1) FS}
2✔ Verified
This litigant successfully signed this COD under penalty of perjury.


The COD explicitly cites §92.525 FS

Read this How-To Guide for more [on applying a verified oath without having to pay a notary]

Also, refer to 29 CFR §1601.3(a)
3✔ Dual-Filed
4/10/19 vs 7/1/18 (283 days ≤ 300 days); or - alternatively -

4/10/19 vs 7/31/18 (253 days ≤ 300 days)

{§2E 2023 EEOC-FCHR Workshare Agreement}

room for improvement: explicitly state that your COD is dual-filed (and include the days that have elapsed)
4✔ Charged Bases CheckedsnapshotOfCOD

protects against fraudulent defenses (ie, complainant didn't charge us with "sex" discrimination)
5✔ Employer Size
This COD successfully indicates the size of the employer.snapshotOfCOD

This is important because the FCHR only covers employers that have 15+ employees (see Phase 2: The Law for more).
6✔ Adverse ActionThis COD clearly states the adverse employment action (ie, 'termination').
7✔ Contact InfosnapshotOfCOD
room for improvement: include email addresses

reason: most FCHR communications will be via email (plus, emails are great sources of evidence)
8✔ Continuing ActionsnapshotOfCOD

protects against discovery abuses (eg, 'Plaintiff can request those records because the harassment he/she suffered was of a 'continuing nature'')
9✔ Short & Plain Statement
"Allstate only fires the black employees who fail exams"

see Rule 8 Fed. R. Civ. P.;
see Rule 12 Fed. R. Civ. P. (persuasive authority)
10✔ Substantiating Facts
"Complainant failed an actuarial exam. Respondent terminated him because of it.

Respondent has half-a-dozen other employees who have failed exams. Respondent did not fire any of them. All of whom were non-black.

In fact, Respondent has staff that have never even passed an exam; [they've kept] their jobs."

note: substantiating facts are not necessary, but they can help solidify the charge.
11✔ Brief✓ only one page
✓ quick narrative (corroborates the ultimate facts)

1.5 | TBD’s Recommendations

• Meet your filing deadline!
o Filing late can ruin your case
■ The 365-day window is paramount
■ The 300-day window is crucial
■ The 180-day window is important
(yet vital for litigants residing in certain US States).

o From TBD’s experience, one of the few noble things that the FCHR does is check/administer the filing deadline.

• Use the Form (link)
o It’ll save you time
o It’ll save you money (no need to pay a notary public)
■ reason: it includes the legal citation (ie §92.525 FS) for self-verified oaths.
see this How-To Guide
also, refer to 29 CFR §1601.3(a)

• Keep your COD brief
o Only use 1 page
■ Providing too much detail will only aide your civil opponent (ie, the entity that discriminated against you)
• See Rule 8 Fed. R. Civ. P.
• See Rule 12 Fed. R. Civ. P.

■ Providing too much detail can potentially slow down your case

o Provide a short & plain statement
■ Example 1: Company XYZ fired me because I rejected my boss’ sexual/romantic advances

■ Example 2: Company ABC suspended me because I filed an internal discrimination complaint

■ Example 3: Corporation XYZ demoted me due to my age

■ Example 4: Corporation ABC refused to hire me because of my nationality

■ Example 5: Entity XYZ subjected me to a hostile work environment because of my disability

• Consider talking to one of the EEOC’s/FCHR’s employees beforehand
o Some of their Intake personnel will help litigants draft a proper complaint

■ FCHR Phone Number: 850.488.7082

■ EEOC Phone Number: 800.669.4000 | Miami District Office: 305.808.1740

■ Official Manual on EEOC Inquiries

1.6 | TBD’s Commentary

You are not alone.

It’s possible that you might feel as though no one will understand what you’ve gone through. However, your story – although unique – will be very similar to many other cases of employment discrimination.

In TBD’s words, different charges of discrimination are like different songs from the same genre of music. They have similar/identical patterns, but their specific facts/lyrics are different.

Suggestion: Read through TBD’s Index of Charges of Discrimination.
• Benefit #1: Morale
o You’ll see that many people have gone through what you’ve gone through

• Benefit #2: Effectiveness
o You’ll better understand how to articulate/litigate your case
So, whether you are alone and/or you just feel alone, get ready to get booked up on all of the knowledge/resources that this website has (and others have) to offer.

A key part of your journey will be knowing how to navigate through the FCHR legal process; and you can fortify that knowledge by learning about the next phase (ie, Phase 2: The Law)...
TextBookDiscrimination.com® | © 2023. All Rights Reserved.
1 Redactions have been made to this document. Edits have also been made.
Purpose: Accentuate educational points.
Congratulations! You're now booked up on Phase 1 (Charge of Discrimination) regarding the way the legal process operates within the State of Florida!

Keep this in mind while you litigate your civil rights case in the sunshine state. Also, keep in mind the FCHR's statutory ability to accept bribes.

Plus - at all times - keep the 7th Amendment of the US Constitution (your right to a trial-by-jury) in mind.

As always, please get the justice you deserve.


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