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As you contemplate/litigate your Florida discrimination charge, you’ll probably need to reference the state’s laws on discrimination.

2.0 | Intro

Good News: The FCRA (ie, the state law that protects against discrimination) is relatively short.

Better News: TBD has copied & re-formatted it on this website (along with all other laws pertinent to discrimination litigation) [link].

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Best News: The FCRA is patterned after Title VII. Therefore, if you’re familiar with the federal laws on discrimination then you pretty much know the state laws on it.

Plus, discrimination cases get litigated the same way:
“Because the FCRA is modeled after Title VII, and claims brought under it are analyzed under the same framework [the] state-law claims do not need separate discussion and their outcome is the same as the federal ones.”
- Alvarez v Royal, 610 F.3d 1253 (11th Cir. 2010)
Caveat #1 [Substantive]:
Age Discrimination is treated differently between the two laws. Under the FCRA, all ages are protected. Under Title VII, however, only people who are 40+ are protected.

Please read the following agency decisions to learn more:
o Clark v UF, 201806 TBD.F 004
o Grasso v AHCA, 201503 TBD.F 001
o Lopez v InSync Staffing, 201802 TBD.F 005
o Williams v First Commerce, 201744 TBD.F 008
Caveat #2 [Constitutional]:
the FCHR can [and will] bar you from filing a civil suit (ie, it’ll prevent you form entering court). The EEOC, on the other hand, cannot (highlights added):
“We also point out that, although in many respects the FCRA is patterned on Title VII, which is the federal statutory scheme, Title VII does not bar a federal lawsuit even if the EEOC issues a "no cause" determination...

Thus, the FCRA differs from Title VII, its federal counterpart, in that a "no cause" determination precludes a civil suit under the FCRA but not under Title VII.
- Woodham v BCBSFL, 829 So. 2d 891 (Fla. 2002)

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

The FCRA covers a lot of protected characteristics. §760.01(2) lists them as follows (highlights added):
“(2) The general purposes of the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992 are to secure for all individuals within the state freedom from discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, national origin, age, handicap, or marital status and thereby to protect their interest in personal dignity, to make available to the state their full productive capacities, to secure the state against domestic strife and unrest, to preserve the public safety, health, and general welfare, and to promote the interests, rights, and privileges of individuals within the state.”
- §760.01(2) FS
Item 1.1 has more information on 'Charged Bases'.

2.2 | Statute of Limitations (365, 300, 180)

Under the FCRA, you have 365 days [from the date of the last adverse employment act] to file your charge of discrimination (highlights added):
“(1) Any person aggrieved by a violation of ss. 760.01-760.10 may file a complaint with the commission within 365 days of the alleged violation, naming the employer, employment agency, labor organization, or joint labor-management committee, or, in the case of an alleged violation of s. 760.10(5), the person responsible for the violation and describing the violation...”
- §760.11(1) FS
Under Title VII (ie, the FCRA’s federal parent), you have 180 days [from the date of the last adverse employment act] to file your charge of discrimination (highlights added):
“(1) A charge under this section shall be filed within one hundred and eighty days after the alleged unlawful employment practice occurred and notice of the charge (including the date, place and circumstances of the alleged unlawful employment practice)”
- 42 USC §2000e-5(e)(1)
For dual-file status (ie, simultaneous protection under the FCRA and Title VII), you have 300 days [from the date of the last adverse employment act] to file your charge of discrimination (highlights added):
“in a case of an unlawful employment practice with respect to which the person aggrieved has initially instituted proceedings with a State or local agency with authority to grant or seek relief from such practice or to institute criminal proceedings with respect thereto upon receiving notice thereof, such charge shall be filed by or on behalf of the person aggrieved within three hundred days after the alleged unlawful employment practice occurred, or within thirty days after receiving notice that the State or local agency has terminated the proceedings under the State or local law, whichever is earlier, and a copy of such charge shall be filed by the Commission with the State or local agency.”
- 42 USC §2000e-5(e)(1)
In short, you have the following time windows [to file your COD]:
EEOCDual-FiledFCHR Only
Time Window:180 Days300 Days365 Days
Upon receiving your COD, the FCHR will/should investigate your claims...

2.3 | Investigative Window

According to state law, the FCHR has 180 days to complete its investigation into your COD. Moreover, Florida’s Supreme Court has declared that the FCHR loses jurisdiction once this 180-day period ends:
“...whenever the FCHR fails to make its determination within 180 days, even if the untimely determination is made before the filing of the lawsuit, the claimant may proceed to file a lawsuit under [§760.11(4) FS]...

In the present case, it is undisputed that the EEOC dismissal and notice of rights was not issued within the 180 days provided by [§760.11(3) FS] and [§760.11(8) FS]. Thus, Woodham should have been permitted to proceed with her civil action even if EEOC Form 161 had satisfied the requirements of a "no cause" determination under section 760.11(3).”
- Woodham v BCBSFL, 829 So. 2d 891 (Fla. 2002)
In short, every late FCHR Determination is null & void.1 So, if 180 days pass [from the date of your filed COD], then you’re free to proceed under §760.11(4) (ie, you can file a civil suit in court; or you can proceed to a hearing at DOAH). Ideally, the FCHR will issue you an Election of Rights form; outlining these options for you.
However, the FCHR has its own agenda (and its own unique methods). So, you have to stay vigilant.
In fact – on many past occasions – the FCHR has issued late Determinations (thereby contravening §760.11 FS). TBD has:
(a) witnessed the FCHR perpetrate this subversion; and

(b) experienced it first hand
So, pay close attention to your investigative window!

2.4 | Timestamp

To help establish the beginning of that investigative window, state law requires the FCHR to place a timestamp on your COD (highlights added):
“On the same day the complaint is filed with the commission, the commission shall clearly stamp on the face of the complaint the date the complaint was filed with the commission. In lieu of filing the complaint with the commission, a complaint under this section may be filed with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or with any unit of government of the state which is a fair-employment-practice agency under 29 C.F.R. ss. 1601.70-1601.80. If the date the complaint is filed is clearly stamped on the face of the complaint, that date is the date of filing.”
- §760.11(1) FS
Thus, the FCHR’s investigative window begins on the date you file your complaint.

2.5 | Petition for Relief

According to §760.11(6),(7) FS, you’ll have 35 days to file your Petition for Relief. This PFR comes into play at the earlier of the following two dates:
1. the date listed on the FCHR’s Determination Letter; or

2. the date that ends your case's 180-day investigative window
remember: an untimely FCHR Determination is null & void. Therefore, these two dates (from above) are mutually exclusive.

Hopefully, the FCHR won’t saddle you with timeliness issues; please stay vigilant, nonetheless.

List of Civil Rights Attorneys.

2.6 | Quick Recap on Timeliness

This timeliness issue can get confusing; so, just remember...
□ if you file your COD within 365 days [of the last adverse act] then you’ve satisfied your FCHR filing burden; and

□ once 180 days have passed [since you filed your COD] the FCHR has to shut up (unless you ask it to do more for you). - loosely speaking

2.7 | DOAH Proceeding

As highlighted before [see Summary page – “Likelihoods” section), the FCHR will probably funnel your discrimination case into DOAH (86% chance). This transfer is governed by Florida’s Administrative Procedure Act (APA). Although it’ll help to read the entire APA, the following statutes will suffice for this stage [of the FCHR Legal Process]:
§120.569 FS
§120.57(1) FS

2.8 | Appellate Review

As similarly highlighted before [see Summary page – “State Appeal” section), you’ll have an opportunity to appeal the Final Order (and – potentially – some interlocutory orders) that the FCHR issues. Your appeal will be available under the following statute (which is also part of the APA):
§120.68 FS
At this stage, §120.68 FS won’t be very important to you (because it’ll take roughly 2 years before you get a chance to invoke it). So – for now – just know that it’s there.

2.9 | Constitutions

It’ll behoove you to keep your constitutional rights in mind at all times. Of course, your constitutional rights are available under the:
(a) United States Constitution; and
(b) Florida Constitution (yes, states have their own constitutions).
The following passages will be the most pertinent to your discrimination lawsuit:
1st Amendment (US Constitution)
7th Amendment (US Constitution)
10th Amendment (US Constitution)
11th Amendment (US Constitution)
14th Amendment (US Constitution)
Article III (US Constitution)

Art. I §24 (FL Constitution)
Although the FL Constitution is considerably larger than the US Constitution; its passages are hardly ever invoked in practice.
Note: “hardly ever” ≈ 0.01% of the time
referring to the percent of all docket entries which cite the FL Constitution
(aside from Art. I §24 (FL Constitution) – which gets invoked fairly often).

2.10 | Public Records

FCHR Discrimination cases frequently involve public records requests. In Florida, such requests are governed by §119 FS. These are the subsections that pop-up most often:
§119.07 FS
§119.071 FS
At this stage [of the FCHR Legal Process], §119 will not be very important. However, it’ll become quite important once the 180-day investigative window closes. So, for the time being, just know that §119 grants you the power to make public records requests.

In fact, here’s a How-To Guide (FCHR Public Records Requests).

2.11 | Evidence

Florida – unlike the federal government – does not have a Rules of Evidence (see Phase 4 for more). Instead, it’s codified most of those rules into law. The statutes that you’ll probably find most useful are:
§90.201 FS
§90.202 FS
§90.203 FS
§90.204 FS
§90.205 FS
Of course, you won’t need to invoke these statutes until your FCHR investigation ends. So, for the time being, just know that §90.201 FS - §90.205 FS will be useful statutes for evidentiary purposes.

2.12 | Miscellaneous Statutes (Indigence, Verified Oath)

Lastly, these two statutes will be very useful (at all times of your civil rights litigation):
§27.52 FS (28 USC §1915)
§92.52 FS (28 USC §1746)
§27.52 FS deals with civil indigence status (ie, poor person status).2 It’ll give you [virtually free] access to the legal system - if your financial situation renders you poor. You can request indigence from every tribunal that you encounter (ie, from: Appellate Court, DOAH, the FCHR, State Court, etc.).
28 USC §1915 is the federal equivalent to §27.52 FS
§92.52 FS, on the other hand, allows you to file a self-verified oath. This will save you the time & money needed to get a notarized statement. Plus, you’ll be able to issue self-verified oaths at every tribunal that you encounter (ie, from: Appellate Court, DOAH, the FCHR, State Court, etc.).
28 USC §1746 is the federal equivalent to §92.52 FS
Also, here are the how-to guides:
How-To: Civil Indigence (State)
How-To: Civil Indigence (Federal)

How-To: Verified Oath (state/federal)
Getting booked up on these two statutes will really boost your skills/knowledge. Also take note of the fact that none of the tribunals (which you’ll stand before) have disclosed these two important statutes to you. So, as you flip through these pages, be on the lookout for more useful revelations to add to your book of knowledge.

2.13 | TBD’s Commentary

I. Read the FCRA;
A. Also – as you read through it – ask yourself the following questions:
1. How much time do I have to file my COD with the FCHR?

2. What happens if the FCHR issues a “no reasonable cause” Determination?

3. What happens if the FCHR issues a “reasonable cause” Determination?

4. How much time does the FCHR have to enter that Determination?
a. What happens if the FCHR fails to issue me a Determination within that statutory window?
5. Is a civil action the same as an administrative action?

6. How much time do I have to request an administrative hearing (via a “Petition for Relief”)?
B. Also, be mindful of the FCHR’s statutory ability to accept bribes (see §760.06(4) FS).
II. Stay Vigilant
A. Try to do all of the following:
1. File your COD on time
a. Do so via email (Clerk@FCHR.MyFlorida.com; FCHRInfo@FCHR.MyFlorida.com)
2. Within 3 days of filing, ask the FCHR if they “actually received” your COD
a. see this sample email
3. Within 3 days of filing, ask the FCHR to disclose the date & time of its official timestamp
a. see Item 2.4
4. Within 14 days of filing, ask the FCHR if they’ve notified the defendant/respondent

5. Within 21 days of filing, ask the FCHR to agree to send you your Election of Rights form (in the event 180 days pass without an FCHR Determination).

6. Within 30 days of filing, ask the FCHR to refrain from manufacturing issues on timeliness

7. If you receive a Determination letter within the 180-day investigative window, read it promptly
a. Follow its directions
8. If you do not receive a Determination letter within the 180-day investigative window, ask for your Election of Rights form
a. Follow the directions on the Election of Rights form; and/or
i. File a timely civil suit; and/or

ii. File a timely Petition for Relief
B. Save Every Document
Keeping good records will make it easier to rectify/identify the clear errors/improprieties that will come your way.

On your computer, consider creating a file directory that's dedicated to your discrimination lawsuit.
Within that directory, create subfolders to house documents/pleadings for each tribunal that you traverse (eg, an "FCHR" folder, a "DOAH" folder, a "Duval" folder, a "USFLMD" folder, etc.)
Of course, staying vigilant goes hand-in-hand with getting 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 3: The Regulations)...
TextBookDiscrimination.com® | © 2023. All Rights Reserved.
1Determination” – as used here – is a technical term. It refers to the investigative decision that the FCHR enters (see §760.11(3) FS). Do not confuse this “determination” with other decisions that the FCHR makes. It bears repeating: “Determination” – as used here – only refers to the FCHR’s aforementioned investigative decision.

List of Civil Rights Attorneys.
Congratulations! You're now booked up on Phase 2 (Knowing the Law) 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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