Florida Senate - 2018                              CS for SB 300
       By the Committee on Governmental Oversight and Accountability;
       and Senators Rouson and Campbell
       585-02615-18                                           2018300c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the Florida Commission on Human
    3         Relations; amending s. 112.31895, F.S.; revising the
    4         length of time by which receipt of the complaint must
    5         be acknowledged and copies thereof provided to named
    6         parties; revising the commission’s duties with respect
    7         to the process of fact finding regarding an allegation
    8         of a prohibited personnel action; revising the
    9         timeframes by which the commission must terminate an
   10         investigation following the receipt of the fact
   11         finding report or the failure of an agency to
   12         implement corrective action recommendations; revising
   13         the length of time by which a complainant may file a
   14         complaint with the Public Employees Relations
   15         Commission following termination of the Florida
   16         Commission on Human Relations’ investigation; amending
   17         s. 760.03, F.S.; revising what constitutes a quorum
   18         for commission meetings and panels thereof; amending
   19         s. 760.065, F.S.; revising the number of persons the
   20         commission must annually recommend to the Governor for
   21         inclusion in the Florida Civil Rights Hall of Fame;
   22         amending s. 760.11, F.S.; requiring the commission to
   23         provide notice to an aggrieved person under certain
   24         circumstances; providing notice requirements;
   25         requiring a certain civil action brought by an
   26         aggrieved person to commence within a specified
   27         timeframe; amending s. 760.29, F.S.; deleting
   28         provisions requiring a facility or community claiming
   29         an exemption under the Fair Housing Act to register
   30         with the commission; amending s. 760.31, F.S.;
   31         removing a requirement for commission rules, to
   32         conform to changes made by the act; amending s.
   33         760.60, F.S.; removing the requirement that the
   34         commission or the Attorney General investigate alleged
   35         discriminatory practices of a club within a specified
   36         timeframe; revising the timeframe by which a
   37         complainant or the Attorney General may commence a
   38         civil action in response to discriminatory practices
   39         of a club; providing an effective date.
   41  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   43         Section 1. Subsections (1) and (2), paragraphs (d) and (e)
   44  of subsection (3), and subsection (4) of section 112.31895,
   45  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
   46         112.31895 Investigative procedures in response to
   47  prohibited personnel actions.—
   48         (1) COMPLAINTS.—
   49         (a) If a disclosure under s. 112.3187 includes or results
   50  in alleged retaliation by an employer, the employee or former
   51  employee of, or applicant for employment with, a state agency,
   52  as defined in s. 216.011, which that is so affected may file a
   53  complaint alleging a prohibited personnel action, which
   54  complaint must be made by filing a written complaint with the
   55  Office of the Chief Inspector General in the Executive Office of
   56  the Governor or the Florida Commission on Human Relations, no
   57  later than 60 days after the prohibited personnel action.
   58         (b) Within 5 three working days after receiving a complaint
   59  under this section, the office or officer receiving the
   60  complaint shall acknowledge receipt of the complaint and provide
   61  copies of the complaint and any other preliminary information
   62  available concerning the disclosure of information under s.
   63  112.3187 to each of the other parties named in paragraph (a),
   64  which parties shall each acknowledge receipt of such copies to
   65  the complainant.
   66         (2) FACT FINDING.—The Florida Commission on Human Relations
   67  shall:
   68         (a) Receive any allegation of a personnel action prohibited
   69  by s. 112.3187, including a proposed or potential action, and
   70  conduct informal fact finding regarding any allegation under
   71  this section, to the extent necessary to determine whether there
   72  are reasonable grounds to believe that a prohibited personnel
   73  action under s. 112.3187 has occurred, is occurring, or is to be
   74  taken.
   75         (b) Notify the complainant, within 15 days after receiving
   76  a complaint, that the complaint has been received by the
   77  department.
   78         (b)(c) Within 180 90 days after receiving the complaint,
   79  provide the agency head and the complainant with a fact-finding
   80  report that may include recommendations to the parties or
   81  proposed resolution of the complaint. The fact-finding report
   82  shall be presumed admissible in any subsequent or related
   83  administrative or judicial review.
   85         (d) If the Florida Commission on Human Relations is unable
   86  to conciliate a complaint within 35 60 days after receipt of the
   87  fact-finding report, the Florida Commission on Human Relations
   88  shall terminate the investigation. Upon termination of any
   89  investigation, the Florida Commission on Human Relations shall
   90  notify the complainant and the agency head of the termination of
   91  the investigation, providing a summary of relevant facts found
   92  during the investigation and the reasons for terminating the
   93  investigation. A written statement under this paragraph is
   94  presumed admissible as evidence in any judicial or
   95  administrative proceeding but is not admissible without the
   96  consent of the complainant.
   97         (e)1. The Florida Commission on Human Relations may request
   98  an agency or circuit court to order a stay, on such terms as the
   99  court requires, of any personnel action for 45 days if the
  100  Florida Commission on Human Relations determines that reasonable
  101  grounds exist to believe that a prohibited personnel action has
  102  occurred, is occurring, or is to be taken. The Florida
  103  Commission on Human Relations may request that such stay be
  104  extended for appropriate periods of time.
  105         2. If, in connection with any investigation, the Florida
  106  Commission on Human Relations determines that reasonable grounds
  107  exist to believe that a prohibited action has occurred, is
  108  occurring, or is to be taken which requires corrective action,
  109  the Florida Commission on Human Relations shall report the
  110  determination together with any findings or recommendations to
  111  the agency head and may report that determination and those
  112  findings and recommendations to the Governor and the Chief
  113  Financial Officer. The Florida Commission on Human Relations may
  114  include in the report recommendations for corrective action to
  115  be taken.
  116         3. If, after 35 20 days, the agency does not implement the
  117  recommended action, the Florida Commission on Human Relations
  118  shall terminate the investigation and notify the complainant of
  119  the right to appeal under subsection (4), or may petition the
  120  agency for corrective action under this subsection.
  121         4. If the Florida Commission on Human Relations finds, in
  122  consultation with the individual subject to the prohibited
  123  action, that the agency has implemented the corrective action,
  124  the commission shall file such finding with the agency head,
  125  together with any written comments that the individual provides,
  126  and terminate the investigation.
  127         (4) RIGHT TO APPEAL.—
  128         (a) Not more than 21 60 days after receipt of a notice of
  129  termination of the investigation from the Florida Commission on
  130  Human Relations, the complainant may file, with the Public
  131  Employees Relations Commission, a complaint against the
  132  employer-agency regarding the alleged prohibited personnel
  133  action. The Public Employees Relations Commission shall have
  134  jurisdiction over such complaints under ss. 112.3187 and
  135  447.503(4) and (5).
  136         (b) Judicial review of any final order of the commission
  137  shall be as provided in s. 120.68.
  138         Section 2. Subsection (5) of section 760.03, Florida
  139  Statutes, is amended to read:
  140         760.03 Commission on Human Relations; staff.—
  141         (5) A quorum is necessary for the conduct of official
  142  business. Unless otherwise provided by law, a quorum consists of
  143  a majority of the commissioners who are currently appointed.
  144  Seven members shall constitute a quorum for the conduct of
  145  business; however, The commission may establish panels of not
  146  less than three commissioners of its members to exercise its
  147  powers under the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992, subject to
  148  such procedures and limitations as the commission may provide by
  149  rule. For such a panel, a quorum consists of three
  150  commissioners.
  151         Section 3. Paragraph (a) of subsection (3) of section
  152  760.065, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  153         760.065 Florida Civil Rights Hall of Fame.—
  154         (3)(a) The commission shall annually accept nominations for
  155  persons to be recommended as members of the Florida Civil Rights
  156  Hall of Fame. The commission shall recommend up to 10 persons
  157  from which the Governor shall select up to 3 hall-of-fame
  158  members.
  159         Section 4. Subsection (8) of section 760.11, Florida
  160  Statutes, is amended to read:
  161         760.11 Administrative and civil remedies; construction.—
  162         (8) If In the event that the commission fails to conciliate
  163  or determine whether there is reasonable cause on any complaint
  164  under this section within 180 days after of the filing of the
  165  complaint:,
  166         (a) An aggrieved person may proceed under subsection (4),
  167  as if the commission determined that there was reasonable cause.
  168         (b)The commission shall promptly notify the aggrieved
  169  person of the failure to conciliate or to determine whether
  170  there is reasonable cause. The notice shall provide the options
  171  available to the aggrieved person under subsection (4) and
  172  inform the aggrieved person that a civil action is prohibited if
  173  not filed within 1 year after the date the commission certifies
  174  that the notice was mailed.
  175         (c)Any civil action brought by an aggrieved person under
  176  this subsection must be commenced within 1 year after the date
  177  the commission certifies that the notice was mailed pursuant to
  178  paragraph (b).
  179         Section 5. Paragraph (e) of subsection (4) of section
  180  760.29, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  181         760.29 Exemptions.—
  182         (4)
  183         (e) A facility or community claiming an exemption under
  184  this subsection shall register with the commission and submit a
  185  letter to the commission stating that the facility or community
  186  complies with the requirements of subparagraph (b)1.,
  187  subparagraph (b)2., or subparagraph (b)3. The letter shall be
  188  submitted on the letterhead of the facility or community and
  189  shall be signed by the president of the facility or community.
  190  This registration and documentation shall be renewed biennially
  191  from the date of original filing. The information in the
  192  registry shall be made available to the public, and the
  193  commission shall include this information on an Internet
  194  website. The commission may establish a reasonable registration
  195  fee, not to exceed $20, that shall be deposited into the
  196  commission’s trust fund to defray the administrative costs
  197  associated with maintaining the registry. The commission may
  198  impose an administrative fine, not to exceed $500, on a facility
  199  or community that knowingly submits false information in the
  200  documentation required by this paragraph. Such fines shall be
  201  deposited in the commission’s trust fund. The registration and
  202  documentation required by this paragraph shall not substitute
  203  for proof of compliance with the requirements of this
  204  subsection. Failure to comply with the requirements of this
  205  paragraph shall not disqualify a facility or community that
  206  otherwise qualifies for the exemption provided in this
  207  subsection.
  209  A county or municipal ordinance regarding housing for older
  210  persons may not contravene the provisions of this subsection.
  211         Section 6. Subsection (5) of section 760.31, Florida
  212  Statutes, is amended to read:
  213         760.31 Powers and duties of commission.—The commission
  214  shall:
  215         (5) Adopt rules necessary to implement ss. 760.20-760.37
  216  and govern the proceedings of the commission in accordance with
  217  chapter 120. Commission rules shall clarify terms used with
  218  regard to handicapped accessibility, exceptions from
  219  accessibility requirements based on terrain or site
  220  characteristics, and requirements related to housing for older
  221  persons. Commission rules shall specify the fee and the forms
  222  and procedures to be used for the registration required by s.
  223  760.29(4)(e).
  224         Section 7. Subsections (2) and (3) of section 760.60,
  225  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  226         760.60 Discriminatory practices of certain clubs
  227  prohibited; remedies.—
  228         (2) A person who has been discriminated against in
  229  violation of this act may file a complaint with the Commission
  230  on Human Relations or with the Attorney General’s Office of
  231  Civil Rights. A complaint must be in writing and must contain
  232  such information and be in such form as the commission requires.
  233  Upon receipt of a complaint, the commission or the Attorney
  234  General shall provide a copy to the person who represents the
  235  club. Within 30 days after receiving a complaint, the commission
  236  or the Attorney General shall investigate the alleged
  237  discrimination and give notice in writing to the person who
  238  filed the complaint if it intends to resolve the complaint. If
  239  the commission or the Attorney General decides to resolve the
  240  complaint, it shall attempt to eliminate or correct the alleged
  241  discriminatory practices of a club by informal methods of
  242  conference, conciliation, and persuasion.
  243         (3) If the commission or the Attorney General fails, within
  244  30 days after receiving a complaint filed pursuant to subsection
  245  (2), to give notice of its intent to eliminate or correct the
  246  alleged discriminatory practices of a club, or if the commission
  247  or the Attorney General fails to resolve the complaint within 45
  248  30 days after giving such notice, the person or the Attorney
  249  General on behalf of the person filing the complaint may
  250  commence a civil action in a court against the club, its
  251  officers, or its members to enforce this section. If the court
  252  finds that a discriminatory practice occurs at the club, the
  253  court may enjoin the club, its officers, or its members from
  254  engaging in such practice or may order other appropriate action.
  255         Section 8. This act shall take effect July 1, 2018.