Florida State and Local Human Rights Remedies

State of Florida

The State of Florida has protections in housing, public accommodations, some private clubs and employment based on national origin, race or color, sex, pregnancy, disability, religion or familial status.  The State also has protections for whistle blowers and for persons living with HIV/AIDS.  The Florida Commission on Human Relations investigates complaints itself, and may refer a complaint to a local enforcement agency.  The protections (other than housing) may require complainants to file an administrative complaint.  Damages available under the statute include back pay, compensatory damages, punitive damages, and any other damages allowed under state or federal law.

For more information, complaint forms, and explanations of Florida laws protecting civil rights, go to the FCHR website

Alachua County

Alachua County has protections in employment, housing, and access to public accommodations based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, marital status, age, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression. There are additional protections in housing and real estate transactions based on familial status, veterans or service member status, lawful source of income, citizenship status, and status as victim of dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking. The ordinances may require complainants to file an administrative complaint with the county’s human rights manager before filing a civil cause of action. The damages allowable under the ordinance are back pay, compensatory damages, punitive damages, and any other damages allowed under state or federal law.

The ordinances for Alachua County are located here

The web page for more information for the complaint process is located here

City of Atlantic Beach

The city of Atlantic Beach has protections in employment, credit transactions, housing, and access to public accommodations based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, and gender identity or gender expression. The ordinances require complainants to file an administrative complaint with the city manager before filing a civil cause of action. The damages allowable under the ordinance are back pay, punitive damages, reasonable attorney’s fees, interest, costs, and any other damages the judge finds appropriate.

The ordinances for the City of Atlantic Beach are located here

The web page for more information for the complaint process is located here.

Broward County

Broward County has protections in employment, public accommodations, real estate transactions, and housing based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, political affiliation, disability, sexual orientation, pregnancy, and gender identity or expression. The county also protects certain rights for people in a domestic partnership. There are additional protections in housing based on familial status, military status, source of income, and status as a victim of dating/domestic violence, stalking, or human trafficking. The ordinances require complainants to file an administrative complaint with the county’s Human Rights Board before filing a civil cause of action. The damages allowable under the ordinance is actual damages, reasonable attorneys’ fees, and costs.

The ordinances for Broward County are located here

The web page for more information for the complaint process is located here

City of Delray Beach

The city of Delray Beach has protections in housing, employment, and public accommodations based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity or expression, genetic information, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, pregnancy, familial status, and age. The city adopts the following state and county laws, including their respective remedies, to serve as its discrimination ordinance:

The Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992 (public accommodations and employment); the Florida Fair Housing Act; the Palm Beach County Equal Employment Ordinance; and the Palm Beach County Ordinance for Equal Opportunity to Housing and Places of Public Accommodation.

The ordinances for Delray Beach are located here.

City of Fort Lauderdale

The city of Fort Lauderdale has protections in employment, housing, public accommodations, and real estate transactions based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, political affiliation, disability, sexual orientation, pregnancy, and gender identity or expression. There are additional protections in housing based on familial status, veteran or service member status, lawful source of income, and status as victim of dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking. The city also protects certain rights for people in a domestic partnership. The ordinances require complainants to file directly in a court of competent jurisdiction. The damages allowable under the ordinance are any that can be granted by a court, including punitive damages and attorney’s fees.

The ordinances for Fort Lauderdale are located here.

City of Gainesville

The city of Gainesville has protections in employment, public accommodations, housing, and credit transactions based on race, color, gender, age, religion, national origin, marital status, disability, and gender identity. The ordinances give complainants the option of either filing a complaint or going directly to court.The damages allowable under the ordinance are a fine of no more than $500.00. If the discrimination happened on multiple days or occasions, each day is considered a separate offense and is punished individually.

The ordinances for Gainesville are located here

The web page for more information for the complaint process is located here

City of Gulfport

The city of Gulfport has protections in employment, housing, and public accommodation based on age, race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, and physical characteristic. The city also protects certain rights for people in a domestic partnership. The ordinances require complainants to file an administrative complaint with the city manager before filing a civil cause of action. The damages allowable under the ordinance is no more than $500 per offense. If the discrimination occurs on a continuous basis, each day is considered a separate offense.

The ordinances for Gulfport are located here

The web page for more information for the complaint process  is located here

Hillsborough County

Hillsborough County has protections in employment, public accommodations, real estate transactions, contracting and procurement, credit transactions based on race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, disability, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression. The county also protects certain rights for people in a domestic partnership. The ordinances give complainants the option of either filing a complaint or going directly to court. The damages allowable under the ordinance is a maximum fine of $500.

The ordinances for Hillsborough County are located here.

The webpage for more information on the complaint process is located here.

City of Jacksonville

The city of Jacksonville has protections in employment and accommodations based on race, color, religion, political affiliation, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, and marital status. The ordinances give complainants the option of either filing a complaint or going directly to court.

The ordinances for Jacksonville are located here.

The webpage for more information on the complaint process is located here.

City of Lake Worth Beach

The city of Lake Worth Beach has protections based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression. The city also protects certain rights for people in a domestic partnership. The city adopts the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992 to serve as its discrimination ordinance, which includes the remedies found in that law.

The ordinances for Lake Worth Beach are located here.

City of Leesburg

The city of Leesburg has protections in housing, public accommodations, finances, and employment based on race, color, religion, national origin, marital status, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability. There are additional protections in housing based on ancestry and familial status. The ordinances gives complainants the option of either filing a complaint or going directly to court. If there is a housing provision, the remedies are usually separate (requiring either filing or going to court. The damages allowable under the ordinance for violations in housing is a maximum fine of $500. The damages allowable under the ordinance for violations in public accommodations, finances, and employment are the same as those available under state and federal law.

The ordinances for Leesburg are located here and here and here.

The web page for more information for the complaint process  is located here and here

Leon County

Leon County has protections in employment, public accommodations, and housing based on age, race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, familial status, sex, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, or pregnancy. The county also protects certain rights for people in a domestic partnership. The ordinances require complainants to file directly in a court of competent jurisdiction.

The ordinances for Leon County are located here.

City of Mascotte

The city of Mascotte has protections in of employment, public accommodations, and housing based on age, race, color, religion, national origin, disability, marital status, familial status, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity and expression. The city also protects certain rights for people in a domestic partnership. The ordinances require complainants to file directly in a court of competent jurisdiction.

The ordinances for Mascotte are located here.

City of Miami

The city of Miami has protections in employment, housing, public accommodations, credit and financing, family leave, domestic violence leave based on race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, pregnancy, age, disability, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, status as a victim of domestic violence or stalking, and source of income.

The ordinances for Miami are located here.

City of Miami Beach

The city of Miami Beach has protections in employment, housing, and public accommodation based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, intersexuality, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital and familial status, age, disability, ancestry, height, weight, domestic partner status, labor organization membership, familial situation, and political affiliation. The city also protects certain rights for people in a domestic partnership. The ordinances give complainants the option of either filing a complaint or going directly to court. The damages allowable under the ordinance range from $5,000 for a first time offense to $15,000 for a “unlawful discriminatory practice which is irreparable or irreversible in nature.”

The ordinances for Miami Beach are located here.

The webpage for more information on the complaint process is located here.

Miami-Dade County

Miami-Dade County has protections in employment, family leave, public accommodations, credit and financing, and housing based on race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, pregnancy, age, disability, marital status, familial status, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, and status as a victim of domestic violence, dating violence or stalking. There are additional protections in housing based on income. The county also protects certain rights for people in a domestic partnership. The ordinances require complainants to file an administrative complaint with the county’s Human Rights Director before filing a civil cause of action. For cases regarding housing, a complainant has the option of either filing a complaint or going directly to court. The damages allowable under the ordinance are costs and attorney’s fees.

The ordinances for Miami-Dade County are located here.

The webpage for more information on the complaint process is located here.

Monroe County

Monroe County has protections in employment, credit, public accommodations, and housing based on race, color, sex, religion, disability, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, familial status, and age. The ordinances give complainants the option of either filing a complaint or going directly to court. The damages allowable under the ordinance for employment discrimination are either $200 or $500 depending on certain factors.

The ordinances for Monroe County are located here.

The webpage for more information on the complaint process is located here.

City of Mount Dora

The city of Mount Dora has protections in employment, public accommodations, and housing based on age, race, color, religion, national origin, disability, marital status, familial status, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression. The ordinances require complainants to file directly in a court of competent jurisdiction.

The ordinances for Mount Dora are located here.

City of North Port

The city of North Port has protections in employment, housing, public accommodations, and education based on age, race, color, religion, national origin, disability, marital status, familial status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, physical characteristic, genetic information, handicap, creed, ancestry, and veteran’s status. The city also protects certain rights for people in a domestic partnership.

The ordinances require complainants to file directly in a court of competent jurisdiction

The ordinances for North Port are located here.

City of Oakland Park

The city of Oakland Park has protections in employment for city employees based on race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression ethnic origin, political or religious opinions, or affiliations.

The ordinances for Oakland Park are located here.

The webpage for more information for the municipality is located here.

Orange County

Orange County has protections in employment, public accommodations, housing, domestic partnerships, and support persons based on race, color, religion, national origin, disability, marital status, familial status, sex, and sexual orientation. The county also protects certain rights for people in a domestic partnership. The ordinances require complainants to file directly in a court of competent jurisdiction. For cases regarding housing, complainants are required to file a complaint with the manager of the county’s Housing and Community Development division.

The ordinances for Orange County are located here.

The webpage for more information for the municipality regarding housing complaints is located here.

City of Orlando

The city of Orlando has protections in public accommodations, finances, employment, and housing based on race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity. There are additional protections in public accommodations based on disability, marital status, and age; finances based on marital status; employment based on disability, marital status, and age; and housing based on disability and familial status. The city also protects certain rights for people in a domestic partnership. The ordinances require complainants to file an administrative complaint with the city’s Human Relations Officer before filing a civil cause of action. For cases regarding housing, complainants have the option of either filing a complaint or going directly to court. The damages allowable under the ordinance is a maximum fine of $500 per violation.

The ordinances for Orlando are located here.

The webpage for more information on the complaint process is located here.

Osceola County

Osceola County has protections in employment, public accommodations, and housing based on age, race, color, religion, national origin, disability, marital status, familial status, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression. The county also protects certain rights for people in a domestic partnership. The ordinances require complainants to file directly in a court of competent jurisdiction.

The ordinances for Osceola County are located here.

Palm Beach County

Palm Beach County has protections in housing, employment, and public accommodations based on race, sex, color, religion, national origin, disability, familial status, sexual orientation, age, marital status, and gender identity or expression. The ordinances gives complainants the option of either filing a complaint or going directly to court. The damages allowable under the ordinance are actual and punitive damages ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 depending on various factors.

The ordinances for Palm Beach County are located here.

The webpage for more information on the complaint process is located here.

Pinellas County

Pinellas County has protections in employment, housing, and public accommodations based on race, color, religion, national origin, gender, and sexual orientation. There are additional protections in employment based on age and marital status, and there are additional protections in housing and public accommodations based on familial status. The ordinances require complainants to file directly in a court of competent jurisdiction. For cases regarding housing, a complainant has the option of either filing a complaint or going directly to court. The damages allowable under the ordinance are a fine of no more than $500.00. If the discrimination happened on multiple days or occasions, each day is considered a separate offense and is punished individually.

The ordinances for Pinellas County are located here.

The webpage for more information on the complaint process is located here.

City of Sarasota

The City of Sarasota has protections in employment, housing, and public accommodations based on age, color, disability, gender, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, and veteran’s status. The city also protects certain rights for people in a domestic partnership. The ordinances require complainants to file an administrative complaint with the city’s Human Relations Board before filing a civil cause of action.

The ordinances for Sarasota are located here.

The webpage for more information on the complaint process is located here.

City of St. Augustine

The city of St. Augustine has protections in housing based on race, color, religion, ancestry, sex, place of birth, disability, familial status, national origin, and sexual orientation. The ordinances give complainants the option of either filing a complaint with the city commission or going directly to court.

The ordinances for St. Augustine are located here.

The webpage for more information on the city commission is located here.

City of Tampa

The city of Tampa has protections in employment, public accommodations, and housing based on  race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, handicap, familial status or marital status. The city also protects certain rights for people in a domestic partnership. The ordinances require complainants to file an administrative complaint with the city’s Human Rights Board before filing a civil cause of action. For cases regarding housing, complainants have the option of filing a complaint or going directly to court.

The damages allowable under the ordinance for cases regarding housing are quantifiable damages and reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.

The ordinances for Tampa are located here.

The webpage for more information on the complaint process is located here.

Volusia County

Volusia County has protections in employment, public accommodations, and housing based on age, race, color, religion, national origin, disability, marital status, familial status, sex, and personal gender identity or sexual orientation. The ordinances require complainants to file directly in a court of competent jurisdiction

The ordinances for Volusia County are located here.

City of Wellington

The city of Wellington has protections based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, familial status, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. The ordinance does not specifically list areas where discrimination is prohibited, but it is intended to encompass all areas of life. The city adopts the following state and county laws, including their respective remedies, to serve as its discrimination ordinance:

The Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992 (public accommodations and employment); the Florida Fair Housing Act; the Palm Beach County Equal Employment Ordinance; and the Palm Beach County Ordinance for Equal Opportunity to Housing and Places of Public Accommodation.

The ordinances for Wellington are located here.

City of Wilton Manors

The city of Wilton Manors has protections in public contracts and public funding based on race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, sexual orientation, gender identification, gender, marital status, pregnancy, familial status, veterans status, political affiliation, physical or mental disability, and people who are associated with someone in the above groups.

The ordinances for Wilton Manors are located here