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TITLE XLIV

CIVIL RIGHTS

Last update: 2013-11-01


  • Discrimination In The Treatment Of Persons; Minority Representation
    • Florida Civil Rights Act (ss. 760.01-760.11)
    • Fair Housing Act (ss. 760.20-760.37)
    • Miscellaneous Provisions (ss. 760.40-760.60)
    • Minority Representation In Certain Bodies (s. 760.80)
    • Environmental Equity And Justice (s. 760.854)
  • Religious Freedom
  • Health Care Advance Directives
    • General Provisions (ss. 765.101-765.113)
    • Health Care Surrogate (ss. 765.201-765.205)
    • Life-Prolonging Procedures (ss. 765.301-765.309)
    • Absence Of Advance Directive (ss. 765.401, 765.404)
    • Anatomical Gifts (ss. 765.510-765.547)
  • Version 2013-11-01
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  • Version 2011-11-08

Chapter 760

DISCRIMINATION IN THE TREATMENT OF PERSONS; MINORITY REPRESENTATION

Part I

FLORIDA CIVIL RIGHTS ACT

760.01 - Purposes; construction; title

  • (1) Sections 760.01-760.11 and 509.092 shall be cited as the “Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992.”

  • (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, 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.

  • (3) The Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992 shall be construed according to the fair import of its terms and shall be liberally construed to further the general purposes stated in this section and the special purposes of the particular provision involved.

History.- s. 1, ch. 69-287; s. 1, ch. 72-48; s. 1, ch. 77-341; s. 1, ch. 92-177; s. 4, ch. 92-282.

Note.- Former ss. 13.201, 23.161.


760.02 - Definitions

For the purposes of ss. 760.01-760.11 and 509.092, the term:
  • (1) “Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992” means ss. 760.01-760.11 and 509.092.

  • (2) “Commission” means the Florida Commission on Human Relations created by s. 760.03.

  • (3) “Commissioner” or “member” means a member of the commission.

  • (4) “Discriminatory practice” means any practice made unlawful by the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992.

  • (5) “National origin” includes ancestry.

  • (6) “Person” includes an individual, association, corporation, joint apprenticeship committee, joint-stock company, labor union, legal representative, mutual company, partnership, receiver, trust, trustee in bankruptcy, or unincorporated organization; any other legal or commercial entity; the state; or any governmental entity or agency.

  • (7) “Employer” means any person employing 15 or more employees for each working day in each of 20 or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year, and any agent of such a person.

  • (8) “Employment agency” means any person regularly undertaking, with or without compensation, to procure employees for an employer or to procure for employees opportunities to work for an employer, and includes an agent of such a person.

  • (9) “Labor organization” means any organization which exists for the purpose, in whole or in part, of collective bargaining or of dealing with employers concerning grievances, terms or conditions of employment, or other mutual aid or protection in connection with employment.

  • (10) “Aggrieved person” means any person who files a complaint with the Human Relations Commission.

  • (11) “Public accommodations” means places of public accommodation, lodgings, facilities principally engaged in selling food for consumption on the premises, gasoline stations, places of exhibition or entertainment, and other covered establishments. Each of the following establishments which serves the public is a place of public accommodation within the meaning of this section:

    • (a) Any inn, hotel, motel, or other establishment which provides lodging to transient guests, other than an establishment located within a building which contains not more than four rooms for rent or hire and which is actually occupied by the proprietor of such establishment as his or her residence.

    • (b) Any restaurant, cafeteria, lunchroom, lunch counter, soda fountain, or other facility principally engaged in selling food for consumption on the premises, including, but not limited to, any such facility located on the premises of any retail establishment, or any gasoline station.

    • (c) Any motion picture theater, theater, concert hall, sports arena, stadium, or other place of exhibition or entertainment.

    • (d) Any establishment which is physically located within the premises of any establishment otherwise covered by this subsection, or within the premises of which is physically located any such covered establishment, and which holds itself out as serving patrons of such covered establishment.

History.- s. 2, ch. 69-287; s. 2, ch. 72-48; s. 2, ch. 77-341; s. 3, ch. 79-400; s. 2, ch. 92-177; s. 4, ch. 92-282; s. 4, ch. 2003-396.

Note.- Former ss. 13.211, 23.162.


760.021 - Enforcement

  • (1) The Attorney General may commence a civil action for damages, injunctive relief, civil penalties not to exceed $10,000 per violation, and such other relief as may be appropriate under the laws of this state if the Attorney General has reasonable cause to believe that any person or group:

    • (a) Has engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination as defined by the laws of this state; or

    • (b) Has been discriminated against as defined by the laws of this state and such discrimination raises an issue of great public interest.

  • (2) The Attorney General may file an action under this section in the circuit court of the county where the cause of action arises or in the circuit court of the Second Judicial Circuit, in and for Leon County.

  • (3) In any proceeding under this section, the respondent may request, before any responsive pleading is due, that a hearing be held no earlier than 5 days but no more than 30 days after the filing of the complaint, at which hearing the court shall determine whether the complaint on its face makes a prima facie showing that a pattern or practice of discrimination exists or that, as a result of discrimination, an issue of great public interest exists.

  • (4) The prevailing party in an action brought under this section is entitled to an award of reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.

  • (5) Any damages recovered under this section shall accrue to the injured party.

History.- s. 2, ch. 2003-396.

760.03 - Commission on Human Relations; staff

  • (1) There is hereby created the Florida Commission on Human Relations, comprised of 12 members appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate. The commission shall select one of its members to serve as chairperson for terms of 2 years.

  • (2) The members of the commission must be broadly representative of various racial, religious, ethnic, social, economic, political, and professional groups within the state; and at least one member of the commission must be 60 years of age or older.

  • (3) Commissioners shall be appointed for terms of 4 years. A member chosen to fill a vacancy otherwise than by expiration of term shall be appointed for the unexpired term of the member whom such appointee is to succeed. A member of the commission shall be eligible for reappointment. A vacancy in the commission shall not impair the right of the remaining members to exercise the powers of the commission.

  • (4) The Governor may suspend a member of the commission only for cause, subject to removal or reinstatement by the Senate.

  • (5) Seven members shall constitute a quorum for the conduct of business; however, the commission may establish panels of not less than three of its members to exercise its powers under the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992, subject to such procedures and limitations as the commission may provide by rule.

  • (6) Each commissioner shall be compensated at the rate of $50 per day for each day of actual attendance to commission duties and shall be entitled to receive per diem and travel expenses as provided by s. 112.061.

  • (7) The commission shall appoint, and may remove, an executive director who, with the consent of the commission, may employ a deputy, attorneys, investigators, clerks, and such other personnel as may be necessary adequately to perform the functions of the commission, within budgetary limitations.

History.- s. 3, ch. 69-287; s. 1, ch. 70-438; s. 3, ch. 77-341; s. 1, ch. 80-148; s. 27, ch. 87-172; s. 3, ch. 92-177; s. 4, ch. 92-282.

Note.- Former ss. 13.221, 23.163.


760.04 - Commission on Human Relations, assigned to Department of Management Services

The commission created by s. 760.03 is assigned to the Department of Management Services. The commission, in the performance of its duties pursuant to the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992, shall not be subject to control, supervision, or direction by the Department of Management Services.


History.- s. 7, ch. 69-287; ss. 45, 56, ch. 79-190; s. 4, ch. 92-177; s. 134, ch. 92-279; ss. 1, 4, ch. 92-282; s. 55, ch. 92-326; s. 35, ch. 96-399.

Note.- Former ss. 13.231, 23.164.


760.05 - Functions of the commission

The commission shall promote and encourage fair treatment and equal opportunity for all persons regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap, or marital status and mutual understanding and respect among all members of all economic, social, racial, religious, and ethnic groups; and shall endeavor to eliminate discrimination against, and antagonism between, religious, racial, and ethnic groups and their members.


History.- s. 4, ch. 69-287; s. 4, ch. 77-341; s. 4, ch. 79-400.

Note.- Former ss. 13.241, 23.165.


760.06 - Powers of the commission

Within the limitations provided by law, the commission shall have the following powers:
  • (1) To maintain offices in the State of Florida.

  • (2) To meet and exercise its powers at any place within the state.

  • (3) To promote the creation of, and to provide continuing technical assistance to, local commissions on human relations and to cooperate with individuals and state, local, and other agencies, both public and private, including agencies of the Federal Government and of other states.

  • (4) To accept gifts, bequests, grants, or other payments, public or private, to help finance its activities.

  • (5) To receive, initiate, investigate, seek to conciliate, hold hearings on, and act upon complaints alleging any discriminatory practice, as defined by the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992.

  • (6) To issue subpoenas for, administer oaths or affirmations to and compel the attendance and testimony of witnesses or to issue subpoenas for and compel the production of books, papers, records, documents, and other evidence pertaining to any investigation or hearing convened pursuant to the powers of the commission. In conducting an investigation, the commission and its investigators shall have access at all reasonable times to premises, records, documents, and other evidence or possible sources of evidence and may examine, record, and copy such materials and take and record the testimony or statements of such persons as are reasonably necessary for the furtherance of the investigation. The authority to issue subpoenas and administer oaths may be delegated by the commission, for investigations or hearings, to a commissioner or the executive director. In the case of a refusal to obey a subpoena issued to any person, the commission may make application to any circuit court of this state, which shall have jurisdiction to order the witness to appear before the commission to give testimony and to produce evidence concerning the matter in question. Failure to obey the court’s order may be punished by the court as contempt. If the court enters an order holding a person in contempt or compelling the person to comply with the commission’s order or subpoena, the court shall order the person to pay the commission reasonable expenses, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, accrued by the commission in obtaining the order from the court.

  • (7) To recommend methods for elimination of discrimination and intergroup tensions and to use its best efforts to secure compliance with its recommendations.

  • (8) To furnish technical assistance requested by persons to facilitate progress in human relations.

  • (9) To make or arrange for studies appropriate to effectuate the purposes and policies of the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992 and to make the results thereof available to the public.

  • (10) To become a deferral agency for the Federal Government and to comply with the necessary federal regulations to effect the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992.

  • (11) To render, at least annually, a comprehensive written report to the Governor and the Legislature. The report may contain recommendations of the commission for legislation or other action to effectuate the purposes and policies of the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992.

  • (12) To adopt, promulgate, amend, and rescind rules to effectuate the purposes and policies of the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992 and govern the proceedings of the commission, in accordance with chapter 120.

  • (13) To receive complaints and coordinate all activities as required by the Whistle-blower’s Act pursuant to ss. 112.3187-112.31895.

History.- s. 5, ch. 69-287; s. 3, ch. 72-48; s. 1, ch. 75-232; s. 5, ch. 77-341; s. 5, ch. 92-177; s. 4, ch. 92-282; s. 26, ch. 99-333.

Note.- Former ss. 13.251, 23.166.


760.065 - Florida Civil Rights Hall of Fame

  • (1) It is the intent of the Legislature to recognize and honor those persons, living or dead, who have made significant contributions to this state as leaders in the struggle for equality and justice for all persons.

  • (2)(a) There is hereby established the Florida Civil Rights Hall of Fame. The Department of Management Services shall set aside an appropriate public area of the Capitol Building for the Florida Civil Rights Hall of Fame and shall consult with the commission regarding the design and theme of such area.

    • (b) Each person who is selected as a member shall have a designation placed in the Florida Civil Rights Hall of Fame, which designation shall provide information regarding the member’s particular discipline or contribution and any vital information relating to the member.

  • (3)(a) The commission shall annually accept nominations for persons to be recommended as members of the Florida Civil Rights Hall of Fame. The commission shall recommend 10 persons from which the Governor shall select up to 3 hall-of-fame members.

    • (b) In making recommendations pursuant to this subsection, the commission shall recommend persons who are 18 years of age or older, who were born in Florida or adopted Florida as their home state and base of operation, and who have made a significant contribution and provided exemplary leadership toward Florida’s progress and achievements in civil rights.

  • (4) The commission may set specific time periods for acceptance of nominations and the selection of members to coincide with the appropriate activities of the Florida Civil Rights Hall of Fame.

  • (5) The commission shall be responsible for costs relating to the Florida Civil Rights Hall of Fame, excluding normal costs of operations, repairs, and maintenance of the public area designated for the Florida Civil Rights Hall of Fame, which shall be the responsibility of the Department of Management Services.

History.- s. 1, ch. 2010-53.

760.07 - Remedies for unlawful discrimination

Any violation of any Florida statute making unlawful discrimination because of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, handicap, or marital status in the areas of education, employment, housing, or public accommodations gives rise to a cause of action for all relief and damages described in s. 760.11(5), unless greater damages are expressly provided for. If the statute prohibiting unlawful discrimination provides an administrative remedy, the action for equitable relief and damages provided for in this section may be initiated only after the plaintiff has exhausted his or her administrative remedy. The term “public accommodations” does not include lodge halls or other similar facilities of private organizations which are made available for public use occasionally or periodically. The right to trial by jury is preserved in any case in which the plaintiff is seeking actual or punitive damages.


History.- s. 6, ch. 92-177; s. 4, ch. 92-282; s. 1137, ch. 97-102.

760.08 - Discrimination in places of public accommodation

All persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, as defined in this chapter, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, national origin, sex, handicap, familial status, or religion.


History.- s. 5, ch. 2003-396.

760.10 - Unlawful employment practices

  • (1) It is an unlawful employment practice for an employer:

    • (a) To discharge or to fail or refuse to hire any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap, or marital status.

    • (b) To limit, segregate, or classify employees or applicants for employment in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities, or adversely affect any individual’s status as an employee, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap, or marital status.

  • (2) It is an unlawful employment practice for an employment agency to fail or refuse to refer for employment, or otherwise to discriminate against, any individual because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap, or marital status or to classify or refer for employment any individual on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap, or marital status.

  • (3) It is an unlawful employment practice for a labor organization:

    • (a) To exclude or to expel from its membership, or otherwise to discriminate against, any individual because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap, or marital status.

    • (b) To limit, segregate, or classify its membership or applicants for membership, or to classify or fail or refuse to refer for employment any individual, in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities, or adversely affect any individual’s status as an employee or as an applicant for employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap, or marital status.

    • (c) To cause or attempt to cause an employer to discriminate against an individual in violation of this section.

  • (4) It is an unlawful employment practice for any employer, labor organization, or joint labor-management committee controlling apprenticeship or other training or retraining, including on-the-job training programs, to discriminate against any individual because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap, or marital status in admission to, or employment in, any program established to provide apprenticeship or other training.

  • (5) Whenever, in order to engage in a profession, occupation, or trade, it is required that a person receive a license, certification, or other credential, become a member or an associate of any club, association, or other organization, or pass any examination, it is an unlawful employment practice for any person to discriminate against any other person seeking such license, certification, or other credential, seeking to become a member or associate of such club, association, or other organization, or seeking to take or pass such examination, because of such other person’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap, or marital status.

  • (6) It is an unlawful employment practice for an employer, labor organization, employment agency, or joint labor-management committee to print, or cause to be printed or published, any notice or advertisement relating to employment, membership, classification, referral for employment, or apprenticeship or other training, indicating any preference, limitation, specification, or discrimination, based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, absence of handicap, or marital status.

  • (7) It is an unlawful employment practice for an employer, an employment agency, a joint labor-management committee, or a labor organization to discriminate against any person because that person has opposed any practice which is an unlawful employment practice under this section, or because that person has made a charge, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under this section.

  • (8) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, it is not an unlawful employment practice under ss. 760.01-760.10 for an employer, employment agency, labor organization, or joint labor-management committee to:

    • (a) Take or fail to take any action on the basis of religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap, or marital status in those certain instances in which religion, sex, national origin, age, absence of a particular handicap, or marital status is a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary for the performance of the particular employment to which such action or inaction is related.

    • (b) Observe the terms of a bona fide seniority system, a bona fide employee benefit plan such as a retirement, pension, or insurance plan, or a system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of production, which is not designed, intended, or used to evade the purposes of ss. 760.01-760.10. However, no such employee benefit plan or system which measures earnings shall excuse the failure to hire, and no such seniority system, employee benefit plan, or system which measures earnings shall excuse the involuntary retirement of, any individual on the basis of any factor not related to the ability of such individual to perform the particular employment for which such individual has applied or in which such individual is engaged. This subsection shall not be construed to make unlawful the rejection or termination of employment when the individual applicant or employee has failed to meet bona fide requirements for the job or position sought or held or to require any changes in any bona fide retirement or pension programs or existing collective bargaining agreements during the life of the contract, or for 2 years after October 1, 1981, whichever occurs first, nor shall this act preclude such physical and medical examinations of applicants and employees as an employer may require of applicants and employees to determine fitness for the job or position sought or held.

    • (c) Take or fail to take any action on the basis of age, pursuant to law or regulation governing any employment or training program designed to benefit persons of a particular age group.

    • (d) Take or fail to take any action on the basis of marital status if that status is prohibited under its antinepotism policy.

  • (9) This section shall not apply to any religious corporation, association, educational institution, or society which conditions opportunities in the area of employment or public accommodation to members of that religious corporation, association, educational institution, or society or to persons who subscribe to its tenets or beliefs. This section shall not prohibit a religious corporation, association, educational institution, or society from giving preference in employment to individuals of a particular religion to perform work connected with the carrying on by such corporations, associations, educational institutions, or societies of its various activities.

  • (10) Each employer, employment agency, and labor organization shall post and keep posted in conspicuous places upon its premises a notice provided by the commission setting forth such information as the commission deems appropriate to effectuate the purposes of ss. 760.01-760.10.

History.- s. 6, ch. 77-341; s. 2, ch. 78-49; s. 5, ch. 79-400; s. 1, ch. 81-109; s. 7, ch. 92-177; ss. 2, 4, ch. 92-282.

Note.- Former ss. 13.261, 23.167.


760.11 - Administrative and civil remedies; construction

  • (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. Any person aggrieved by a violation of s. 509.092 may file a complaint with the commission within 365 days of the alleged violation naming the person responsible for the violation and describing the violation. The commission, a commissioner, or the Attorney General may in like manner file such a complaint. 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. The date the complaint is filed with the commission for purposes of this section is the earliest date of filing with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the fair-employment-practice agency, or the commission. The complaint shall contain a short and plain statement of the facts describing the violation and the relief sought. The commission may require additional information to be in the complaint. The commission, within 5 days of the complaint being filed, shall by registered mail send a copy of the complaint to the person who allegedly committed the violation. The person who allegedly committed the violation may file an answer to the complaint within 25 days of the date the complaint was filed with the commission. Any answer filed shall be mailed to the aggrieved person by the person filing the answer. Both the complaint and the answer shall be verified.

  • (2) In the event that any other agency of the state or of any other unit of government of the state has jurisdiction of the subject matter of any complaint filed with the commission and has legal authority to investigate the complaint, the commission may refer such complaint to such agency for an investigation. Referral of such a complaint by the commission shall not constitute agency action within the meaning of s. 120.52. In the event of any referral under this subsection, the commission shall accord substantial weight to any findings and conclusions of any such agency. The referral of a complaint by the commission to a local agency does not divest the commission’s jurisdiction over the complaint.

  • (3) Except as provided in subsection (2), the commission shall investigate the allegations in the complaint. Within 180 days of the filing of the complaint, the commission shall determine if there is reasonable cause to believe that discriminatory practice has occurred in violation of the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992. When the commission determines whether or not there is reasonable cause, the commission by registered mail shall promptly notify the aggrieved person and the respondent of the reasonable cause determination, the date of such determination, and the options available under this section.

  • (4) In the event that the commission determines that there is reasonable cause to believe that a discriminatory practice has occurred in violation of the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992, the aggrieved person may either:

    • (a) Bring a civil action against the person named in the complaint in any court of competent jurisdiction; or

    • (b) Request an administrative hearing under ss. 120.569 and 120.57.

    The election by the aggrieved person of filing a civil action or requesting an administrative hearing under this subsection is the exclusive procedure available to the aggrieved person pursuant to this act.

  • (5) In any civil action brought under this section, the court may issue an order prohibiting the discriminatory practice and providing affirmative relief from the effects of the practice, including back pay. The court may also award compensatory damages, including, but not limited to, damages for mental anguish, loss of dignity, and any other intangible injuries, and punitive damages. The provisions of ss. 768.72 and 768.73 do not apply to this section. The judgment for the total amount of punitive damages awarded under this section to an aggrieved person shall not exceed $100,000. In any action or proceeding under this subsection, the court, in its discretion, may allow the prevailing party a reasonable attorney’s fee as part of the costs. It is the intent of the Legislature that this provision for attorney’s fees be interpreted in a manner consistent with federal case law involving a Title VII action. The right to trial by jury is preserved in any such private right of action in which the aggrieved person is seeking compensatory or punitive damages, and any party may demand a trial by jury. The commission’s determination of reasonable cause is not admissible into evidence in any civil proceeding, including any hearing or trial, except to establish for the court the right to maintain the private right of action. A civil action brought under this section shall be commenced no later than 1 year after the date of determination of reasonable cause by the commission. The commencement of such action shall divest the commission of jurisdiction of the complaint, except that the commission may intervene in the civil action as a matter of right. Notwithstanding the above, the state and its agencies and subdivisions shall not be liable for punitive damages. The total amount of recovery against the state and its agencies and subdivisions shall not exceed the limitation as set forth in s. 768.28(5).

  • (6) Any administrative hearing brought pursuant to paragraph (4)(b) shall be conducted under ss. 120.569 and 120.57. The commission may hear the case provided that the final order is issued by members of the commission who did not conduct the hearing or the commission may request that it be heard by an administrative law judge pursuant to s. 120.569(2)(a). If the commission elects to hear the case, it may be heard by a commissioner. If the commissioner, after the hearing, finds that a violation of the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992 has occurred, the commissioner shall issue an appropriate proposed order in accordance with chapter 120 prohibiting the practice and providing affirmative relief from the effects of the practice, including back pay. If the administrative law judge, after the hearing, finds that a violation of the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992 has occurred, the administrative law judge shall issue an appropriate recommended order in accordance with chapter 120 prohibiting the practice and providing affirmative relief from the effects of the practice, including back pay. Within 90 days of the date the recommended or proposed order is rendered, the commission shall issue a final order by adopting, rejecting, or modifying the recommended order as provided under ss. 120.569 and 120.57. The 90-day period may be extended with the consent of all the parties. An administrative hearing pursuant to paragraph (4)(b) must be requested no later than 35 days after the date of determination of reasonable cause by the commission. In any action or proceeding under this subsection, the commission, in its discretion, may allow the prevailing party a reasonable attorney’s fee as part of the costs. It is the intent of the Legislature that this provision for attorney’s fees be interpreted in a manner consistent with federal case law involving a Title VII action.

  • (7) If the commission determines that there is not reasonable cause to believe that a violation of the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992 has occurred, the commission shall dismiss the complaint. The aggrieved person may request an administrative hearing under ss. 120.569 and 120.57, but any such request must be made within 35 days of the date of determination of reasonable cause and any such hearing shall be heard by an administrative law judge and not by the commission or a commissioner. If the aggrieved person does not request an administrative hearing within the 35 days, the claim will be barred. If the administrative law judge finds that a violation of the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992 has occurred, he or she shall issue an appropriate recommended order to the commission prohibiting the practice and recommending affirmative relief from the effects of the practice, including back pay. Within 90 days of the date the recommended order is rendered, the commission shall issue a final order by adopting, rejecting, or modifying the recommended order as provided under ss. 120.569 and 120.57. The 90-day period may be extended with the consent of all the parties. In any action or proceeding under this subsection, the commission, in its discretion, may allow the prevailing party a reasonable attorney’s fee as part of the costs. It is the intent of the Legislature that this provision for attorney’s fees be interpreted in a manner consistent with federal case law involving a Title VII action. In the event the final order issued by the commission determines that a violation of the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992 has occurred, the aggrieved person may bring, within 1 year of the date of the final order, a civil action under subsection (5) as if there has been a reasonable cause determination or accept the affirmative relief offered by the commission, but not both.

  • (8) In the event that the commission fails to conciliate or determine whether there is reasonable cause on any complaint under this section within 180 days of the filing of the complaint, an aggrieved person may proceed under subsection (4), as if the commission determined that there was reasonable cause.

  • (9) No liability for back pay shall accrue from a date more than 2 years prior to the filing of a complaint with the commission.

  • (10) A judgment for the amount of damages and costs assessed pursuant to a final order by the commission may be entered in any court having jurisdiction thereof and may be enforced as any other judgment.

  • (11) If a complaint is within the jurisdiction of the commission, the commission shall simultaneously with its other statutory obligations attempt to eliminate or correct the alleged discrimination by informal methods of conference, conciliation, and persuasion. Nothing said or done in the course of such informal endeavors may be made public or used as evidence in a subsequent civil proceeding, trial, or hearing. The commission may initiate dispute resolution procedures, including voluntary arbitration, by special magistrates or mediators. The commission may adopt rules as to the qualifications of persons who may serve as special magistrates and mediators.

  • (12) All complaints filed with the commission and all records and documents in the custody of the commission, which relate to and identify a particular person, including, but not limited to, a complainant, employer, employment agency, labor organization, or joint labor-management committee shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed by the commission, except to the parties or in the course of a hearing or proceeding under this section. The restriction of this subsection shall not apply to any record or document which is part of the record of any hearing or court proceeding.

  • (13) Final orders of the commission are subject to judicial review pursuant to s. 120.68. The commission’s determination of reasonable cause is not final agency action that is subject to judicial review. Unless specifically ordered by the court, the commencement of an appeal does not suspend or stay the order of the commission, except as provided in the Rules of Appellate Procedure. In any action or proceeding under this subsection, the court, in its discretion, may allow the prevailing party a reasonable attorney’s fee as part of the cost. It is the intent of the Legislature that this provision for attorney’s fees be interpreted in a manner consistent with federal case law involving a Title VII action. In the event the order of the court determines that a violation of the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992 has occurred, the court shall remand the matter to the commission for appropriate relief. The aggrieved party has the option to accept the relief offered by the commission or may bring, within 1 year of the date of the court order, a civil action under subsection (5) as if there has been a reasonable cause determination.

  • (14) The commission may adopt, promulgate, amend, and rescind rules to effectuate the purposes and policies of this section and to govern the proceedings of the commission under this section.

  • (15) In any civil action or administrative proceeding brought pursuant to this section, a finding that a person employed by the state or any governmental entity or agency has violated s. 760.10 shall as a matter of law constitute just or substantial cause for such person’s discharge.

History.- s. 8, ch. 92-177; s. 3, ch. 92-282; s. 1, ch. 94-91; s. 417, ch. 96-406; s. 302, ch. 96-410; s. 1, ch. 2001-187; s. 97, ch. 2004-11.

Part II

FAIR HOUSING ACT