Florida Senate - 2014 COMMITTEE AMENDMENT Bill No. CS for SB 220 Ì409726>Î409726 LEGISLATIVE ACTION Senate . House Comm: WD . 03/12/2014 . . . . ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— 1 Senate Amendment (with title amendment) 2 3 Delete lines 173 - 212 4 and insert: 5 Section 7. Subsections (1), (3), (5), (7), (8), and (13) of 6 section 760.11, Florida Statutes, are amended to read: 7 760.11 Administrative and civil remedies; construction.— 8 (1) Any person aggrieved by a violation of ss. 760.01 9 760.10 may file a complaint with the commission within 365 days 10 after
ofthe alleged violation, naming the employer, employment 11 agency, labor organization, or joint labor-management committee, 12 or, in the case of an alleged violation of s. 760.10(5), the 13 person responsible for the violation and describing the 14 violation. Any person aggrieved by a violation of s. 509.092 may 15 file a complaint with the commission within 365 days after of16 the alleged violation naming the person responsible for the 17 violation and describing the violation. The commission, a 18 commissioner, or the Attorney General may in like manner file 19 such a complaint. On the same day the complaint is filed with 20 the commission, the commission shall clearly stamp on the face 21 of the complaint the date the complaint was filed with the 22 commission. In lieu of filing the complaint with the commission, 23 a complaint under this section may be filed with the federal 24 Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or with any unit of 25 government of the state which is a fair-employment-practice 26 agency under 29 C.F.R. ss. 1601.70-1601.80. If the date the 27 complaint is filed is clearly stamped on the face of the 28 complaint, that date is the date of filing. The date the 29 complaint is filed with the commission for purposes of this 30 section is the earliest date of filing with the Equal Employment 31 Opportunity Commission, the fair-employment-practice agency, or 32 the commission. The complaint shall contain a short and plain 33 statement of the facts describing the violation and the relief 34 sought. The commission may require additional information to be 35 in the complaint. The commission, within 5 days of the complaint 36 being filed, shall by registered mail send a copy of the 37 complaint to the person who allegedly committed the violation. 38 The person who allegedly committed the violation may file an 39 answer to the complaint within 25 days after ofthe date the 40 complaint was filed with the commission. Any answer filed shall 41 be mailed to the aggrieved person by the person filing the 42 answer. Both the complaint and the answer shall be verified. 43 (3) Except as provided in subsection (2), the commission 44 shall investigate the allegations in the complaint. Within 270 45 180days after ofthe filing of the complaint, the commission 46 shall determine if there is reasonable cause to believe that 47 discriminatory practice has occurred in violation of the Florida 48 Civil Rights Act of 1992. When the commission determines whether 49 or not there is reasonable cause, the commission by registered 50 mail shall promptly notify the aggrieved person and the 51 respondent of the reasonable cause determination, the date of 52 such determination, and the options available under this 53 section. 54 (5)(a) In any civil action brought under this section, the 55 court may issue an order prohibiting the discriminatory practice 56 and providing affirmative relief from the effects of the 57 practice, including back pay. The court may also award 58 compensatory damages, including, but not limited to, damages for 59 mental anguish, loss of dignity, and any other intangible 60 injuries, and punitive damages. The provisions of ss. 768.72 and 61 768.73 do not apply to this section. The judgment for the total 62 amount of punitive damages awarded under this section to an 63 aggrieved person may shallnot exceed $100,000, except that in 64 an action by an aggrieved person regarding employment, the 65 judgment for the total amount of punitive and compensatory 66 damages awarded under this section to the aggrieved person may 67 not exceed the amounts specified in paragraph (b). In any action 68 or proceeding under this subsection, the court, in its 69 discretion, may allow the prevailing party a reasonable 70 attorney’s fee as part of the costs. It is the intent of the 71 Legislature that this provision for attorney attorney’sfees be 72 interpreted in a manner consistent with federal case law 73 involving a Title VII action. The right to trial by jury is 74 preserved in any such private right of action in which the 75 aggrieved person is seeking compensatory or punitive damages, 76 and any party may demand a trial by jury. The commission’s 77 determination of reasonable cause is not admissible into 78 evidence in any civil proceeding, including any hearing or 79 trial, except to establish for the court the right to maintain 80 the private right of action. A civil action brought under this 81 section shall be commenced no later than 90 days 1 yearafter 82 the date of determination of reasonable cause by the commission 83 or, if the commission does not make a determination of 84 reasonable cause within 270 days after the filing of a 85 complaint, no later than 90 days after the expiration of the 86 investigatory period under subsection (3). The commencement of 87 such action shall divest the commission of jurisdiction of the 88 complaint, except that the commission may intervene in the civil 89 action as a matter of right. Notwithstanding the above, the 90 state and its agencies and subdivisions shall not be liable for 91 punitive damages. The total amount of recovery against the state 92 and its agencies and subdivisions shall not exceed the 93 limitation as set forth in s. 768.28(5). 94 (b) The judgment for the total amount of punitive and 95 compensatory damages awarded under this section to an aggrieved 96 person in an action regarding employment may not exceed: 97 1. For an employer with at least 15 but not more than 100 98 full-time employees, $50,000. 99 2. For an employer with at least 101 but not more than 200 100 full-time employees, $100,000. 101 3. For an employer with at least 201 but not more than 500 102 full-time employees, $200,000. 103 4. For an employer with more than 500 full-time employees, 104 $300,000. 105 (7) If the commission determines that there is not 106 reasonable cause to believe that a violation of the Florida 107 Civil Rights Act of 1992 has occurred, the commission shall 108 dismiss the complaint. The aggrieved person may request an 109 administrative hearing under ss. 120.569 and 120.57, but any 110 such request must be made within 35 days of the date of 111 determination of reasonable cause and any such hearing shall be 112 heard by an administrative law judge and not by the commission 113 or a commissioner. If the aggrieved person does not request an 114 administrative hearing within the 35 days, the claim will be 115 barred. If the administrative law judge finds that a violation 116 of the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992 has occurred, he or she 117 shall issue an appropriate recommended order to the commission 118 prohibiting the practice and recommending affirmative relief 119 from the effects of the practice, including back pay. Within 90 120 days of the date the recommended order is rendered, the 121 commission shall issue a final order by adopting, rejecting, or 122 modifying the recommended order as provided under ss. 120.569 123 and 120.57. The 90-day period may be extended with the consent 124 of all the parties. In any action or proceeding under this 125 subsection, the commission, in its discretion, may allow the 126 prevailing party a reasonable attorney’s fee as part of the 127 costs. It is the intent of the Legislature that this provision 128 for attorney’s fees be interpreted in a manner consistent with 129 federal case law involving a Title VII action. In the event the 130 final order issued by the commission determines that a violation 131 of the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992 has occurred, the 132 aggrieved person may bring, within 90 days after 1 year ofthe 133 date of the final order, a civil action under subsection (5) as 134 if there has been a reasonable cause determination or accept the 135 affirmative relief offered by the commission, but not both. 136 (8) In the event that the commission fails to conciliate or 137 determine whether there is reasonable cause on any complaint 138 under this section within 270 180days after ofthe filing of 139 the complaint, an aggrieved person may proceed under subsection 140 (4), as if the commission determined that there was reasonable 141 cause. 142 (13) Final orders of the commission are subject to judicial 143 review pursuant to s. 120.68. The commission’s determination of 144 reasonable cause is not final agency action that is subject to 145 judicial review. Unless specifically ordered by the court, the 146 commencement of an appeal does not suspend or stay the order of 147 the commission, except as provided in the Rules of Appellate 148 Procedure. In any action or proceeding under this subsection, 149 the court, in its discretion, may allow the prevailing party a 150 reasonable attorney’s fee as part of the cost. It is the intent 151 of the Legislature that this provision for attorney’s fees be 152 interpreted in a manner consistent with federal case law 153 involving a Title VII action. In the event the order of the 154 court determines that a violation of the Florida Civil Rights 155 Act of 1992 has occurred, the court shall remand the matter to 156 the commission for appropriate relief. The aggrieved party has 157 the option to accept the relief offered by the commission or may 158 bring, within 90 days after 1 year ofthe date of the court 159 order, a civil action under subsection (5) as if there has been 160 a reasonable cause determination. 161 162 ================= T I T L E A M E N D M E N T ================ 163 And the title is amended as follows: 164 Delete lines 23 - 27 165 and insert: 166 pregnancy; amending s. 760.11, F.S.; extending the 167 time for the commission to investigate a complaint and 168 determine if a discriminatory practice has occurred 169 under the Florida Civil Rights Act; revising the 170 required commencement dates of certain civil actions 171 brought under the act; revising the amount of punitive 172 and compensatory damages recoverable by an aggrieved 173 person against his or her employer for violations of 174 the act; providing an effective date.