If you’re applying for work in the state of Florida, you have rights that cannot be impeded. You may have heard that Florida is an “at-will” state that grossly favors employers over employees. While it is true that a Florida employer can fire anyone that they want for any reason that does not violate the law, there are certain provisions that they have to adhere to during the hiring process.
It’s important to know what kind of questions a potential employer can and cannot legally ask during an interview. Armed with this knowledge, you can rest assured that no one will take advantage of you during the hiring process or disqualify you from consideration based on an illegal action.
But what constitutes and illegal employment discrimination in Florida? What kind of questions is your potential employer forbidden from asking? And if you have been illegally disqualified from consideration, what can you do about it?
If during the interview process you have been rejected for any of the following reasons, you can sue the company for damages.
If an employer is trying to pay a woman less than they would a man for the same position despite performing substantially similar work, they have committed an illegal act of discrimination. Equal pay for equal work among genders is protected under the Equal Pay Act of 1963.
If a potential employer refuses you for a position due to your race, color, sex, religion, or national origin, you have the grounds to sue. The right for equal employment opportunity is covered under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
You’ll note that there is no provision in there regarding sexual orientation. Unfortunately, many employers in Florida are allowed to disqualify applicants based on this. However, many cities throughout the state (Miami included) have protections in place to stop this form of discrimination.
You cannot be passed over for a position based on your age. Deciding that someone is unqualified solely based on being “too old” or “too young” is illegal. This right is protected under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967.
Deciding that a potential employee is not the right fit because “they’ll be at retirement age in five years” is not valid and it is illegal.
If a disabled applicant is otherwise qualified to perform the duties of a position, they cannot legally be disqualified from consideration based on their condition. This right is protected under Title I and Title V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as well as Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
Employers cannot reject an applicant based on their genetic history. This includes the presence of genetic diseases or conditions. This right is protected under Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008.
If a potential employer has denied you after asking questions about your genetic history, marital status, age, citizenship, disability status, or any other item on this list, you may have grounds to sue. Contact an experienced Miami employment attorney, like those found at the Law Offices of Keith M. Stern, P.A. Call us today at 866-319-3286 for more information or to schedule a consultation.