The County Commission has declared it to be the policy of Miami-Dade County, in the exercise of its police power for the public safety, health and general welfare, to eliminate and prevent discrimination in employment, family leave, public accommodations, credit and financing practices, and housing accommodations because of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, pregnancy, age, disability, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, status as a victim of domestic violence, dating violence and/or stalking and source of income.
Equal Employment Opportunity
The policy of Miami-Dade County is to foster, maintain, and promote equal employment opportunity. The County will select candidates for employment on the basis of candidates' qualifications for the job and treat them with respect to compensation and opportunity for training and advancement, including upgrading and promotion, without regard to any of the protected classes.
Sexual Harassment is a form of discrimination on the basis of sex, protected by Chapter 11A of the County Code, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and state law. Sexual Harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when submission to, or rejection of, this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual's work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.
Ensures that all employees are able to enjoy a work environment free from all forms of violence and threats of violence. Workplace violence is defined as violent and/or threatening behavior in the workplace.
Threatening behavior includes any behavior that could be interpreted by a reasonable person as intent to cause physical harm to another individual. Threatening behavior may or may not include the actual act of physical force, with or without a weapon, toward another individual. Threatening behavior may be verbal or non-verbal.
This policy includes an absolute prohibition against employees carrying firearms or personal weapons onto any County property, except as may be specifically authorized by law.
Ensures a work environment free of discrimination. Prohibits harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, pregnancy, age, disability, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, status as a victim of domestic violence, dating violence and/or stalking and source of income.
The policy of Miami-Dade County on disciplinary action pertaining to permanent and regular part-time employees.
Delegation of Authority to Discipline
Establishes the policy and procedure for department directors to effectuate the delegation of authority to suspend or reprimand to the appropriate administrative or supervisory level.
Grievance Procedure, Administrative Order 7-18
Establishes the policy providing permanent, probationary, and regular part-time employees a grievance procedure for the resolution of disputes or complaints concerning the terms and conditions of their employment.
Personnel Policy, Centralized Employment
Establishes the procedures used by the Employee Relations Department in administering a centralized recruitment, screening and referral service for all County employment activities to ensure that all qualified candidates have an opportunity to be considered for employment and to maintain equitable and valid employment practices.
Equal Employment Opportunity
Miami-Dade County's Personnel Policy on Equal Employment Opportunity is designed to foster, maintain, and promote equal employment opportunity. The County will select candidates for employment on the basis of candidates' qualifications for the job and treat them with respect to compensation and opportunity for training and advancement, including upgrading and promotion, without regard to:
- national origin
- marital or familial status
- sexual orientation
- the exercise of constitutional or statutory rights
Discrimination is abusive or harassing behavior towards others based on their race, sex, national origin, color, religion, age, disability, ancestry, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, veteran’s status, the exercise of their constitutional or statutory rights, and retaliation. It applies to hiring, termination, promotion, compensation, job training, or any other term, condition or privilege of employment. There are federal, state and local laws and regulations that protect individuals from employment discrimination.
Non-County employees have the right to file a claim of discrimination with the Office of Human Rights and Fair Employment Practices against a current County employee or regarding an issue dealing with the employment application process.
Language Requirements in the Workplace
A rule requiring that employees speak only English on the job may be illegal unless an employer shows that the requirement is necessary for conducting business. If the employer believes such a rule is necessary, employees must be informed when English is required and the consequences for violating the rule. Therefore, a supervisor may not prohibit employees from speaking a language other than English in the workplace during their break times, lunch periods, or when they are not conducting business.
Civil Rights Act of 1866
One of several statutes enacted by the Reconstruction-era Congress to implement the newly ratified Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments eliminating slavery and guaranteeing all citizens equal protection under the law.
In 1975 the Supreme Court held that it affords a federal remedy for private employment discrimination because of race or color. It prohibits substantially the same kinds of discrimination because of race or color as are outlawed by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and it applies to all employers, regardless of size. It has also been construed to prohibit discrimination based on alienage.
Equal Pay Act of 1963
Forbids pay differential on the basis of sex. Men and women are to receive equal pay for equal work. Covers all employers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 plus executive, administrative, and professional employees and outside salespeople.
Civil Rights Act of 1964
The landmark event in federal anti-discrimination legislation was the Civil Rights Act of 1964, particularly its Title VII. It protects workers from discrimination in employment because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
Included under sex are pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions which must be treated the same as any other non-pregnancy-related illness.
Title VII covers all terms, conditions, and benefits of employment (including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, promotion, training, compensation, and discipline), and holds the employer responsible for any discrimination that goes on within the employer's organization.
Title VII protects individuals who have filed a complaint, assisted in an investigation or objected to discriminatory practices (regardless of whether the charges or objections are valid or invalid) from intimidation, discipline, discharge, harassment, or any sort of retaliation. Federal courts have interpreted Title VII to guarantee workers a right to an environment free of ethnic, religious, racial or sexual discrimination. They ruled that workers' rights were violated by the pervasive use of derogatory terms and by abusive treatment.
A form of harassment known as "hostile work environment" occurs when harassing behavior is so severe or pervasive that it can be said to alter the conditions of employment. This form of harassment can exist even when there is no actual or threatened economic injury to the individual claiming to be harassed. Covers employers with 15 or more employees.
Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
Protects employees age 40 and older from employment discrimination based on age. Covers employers with 20 or more employees.
Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978
Prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of pregnancy and pregnancy related conditions. Covers employers with 15 or more employees.
Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986
Prohibits discrimination in the recruitment, hiring, or termination of any individual on the basis of national origin or citizenship. Covers all employers with more than three employees.
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
Prohibits private employers, state and local governments, employment agencies and labor unions from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions and privileges of employment.
A qualified individual with a disability is an individual who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the job in question.
An employer is required to make an accommodation to the known disability of a qualified applicant or employee if it would not impose an "undue hardship" on the operation of the employer's business. An employer is not required to lower quality or production standards to make an accommodation, nor is an employer obligated to provide personal use items such as glasses or hearing aids. Covers employers with 15 or more employees.
Civil Rights Act of 1991
Reverses eight Supreme Court rulings that narrowed the scope and effectiveness of federal employment discrimination laws, and strengthens the protections of discrimination laws and expands their remedies.
A variety of topics are covered, including the scope of the ban on racial discrimination in the Civil Rights Act of 1866, compensatory and punitive damages, mixed-motive employment practices, "race norming" of test scores, the "glass ceiling" (barriers for certain demographics in advancement to upper management), and the burden of proof in disparate impact lawsuits brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Civil rights law recognizes discrimination of two basic types: discriminatory treatment and disparate impact (also known as adverse impact). Put simply, discriminatory treatment involves intentional discrimination against a protected person or group, whereas disparate impact involves facially neutral practices that are not intended to be discriminatory but are discriminatory in effect. Covers employers with 15 or more employees.
Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938
Regulates minimum wages, overtime pay, and the employment of minors. Affects full-time and part-time workers in the private sector and in federal, state and local government.
Executive Order 11246 of 1965
As amended, requires that federal contractors and subcontractors not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Covers contractors and subcontractors with government contracts of more than $10,000.
Executive Order 11478 of 1969
As amended, prohibits discrimination in all federal employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, or status as a parent.
Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Federal contractors must take affirmative action to hire and promote persons with disabilities. Covers federal government contractors with contracts of $2,500 or more.
Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974
Requires federal government contractors to take affirmative action to employ and to advance in employment qualified disabled war veterans, including Vietnam-era veterans. Covers federal government contractors and subcontractors with contracts of $10,000 or more.
Family Medical Leave Act of 1993
Requires employers provide leave of absences for the care of a seriously ill family member, birth or adoption of a child, or to address the employee's own serious health problems. Employees may take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave a year. Covers employers with 50 or more employees.
Florida Fair Employment Laws
Discrimination in County and Municipal Government
Prohibits county and municipal government agencies and divisions from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or religion with respect to compensation, hiring, tenure, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.
Age Discrimination in State or County Government
Prohibits discrimination on the basis of age in employment in state or county government.
Age Discrimination for Public Employers, etc.
Prohibits public employers, employment agencies, and labor organizations from imposing arbitrary age limits and practicing age discrimination in hiring, discharging, mandatory retirement, or with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, and promotes the employment of older persons based on ability.
Wage Discrimination Based on Sex
Prohibits any employer from discriminating between employees on the basis of sex by paying wages to employees at a rate less than the rate at which he or she pays wages to employees of the opposite sex for equal work on jobs the performance of which requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions, except when such payment is made pursuant to: a seniority system, a merit system, a system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of production, or a differential based on any reasonable factor other than sex when exercised in good faith.
Discrimination Based on Sickle Cell Trait
Prohibits any employer from discrimination in hiring or terminations based on possession of the Sickle Cell Trait.
Prohibits any employer from retaliating against an employee because the employee has
1) disclosed, or threatened to disclose, to any appropriate government agency, under oath, in writing, an activity, policy, or practice of the employer that is in violation of a law, rule, or regulation (as long as the employee has, in writing, brought the activity, policy, or practice to the attention of a supervisor or the employer and has afforded the employer a reasonable opportunity to correct the activity, policy, or practice);
2) provided information to, or testified before, any appropriate governmental agency, person, or entity conducting an investigation, hearing, or inquiry into an alleged violation of a law, rule, or regulation by the employer; or
3) objected to, or refused to participate in, any activity, policy, or practice of the employer which is in violation of a law, rule, or regulation.
Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992
Makes it unlawful for any employer 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, or 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, disability, or marital status.
Established the Florida Commission on Human Relations.
Discrimination Based on AIDS or HIV
Classifies a person with AIDS, AIDS Related Complex, or HIV as having all the protections afforded to a person with a disability, with the exception that an employer may assert that a bona fide occupational qualification exists for human immunodeficiency virus-related testing and has the burden of proving that such testing is necessary to ascertain whether an employee or applicant is currently able to perform in a reasonable manner the duties of the particular job or whether an employee or applicant will present a significant risk of transmitting the virus to other persons in the course of normal work activities.
Interference With Exercise of Rights
Prohibits any person from interfering or attempting to interfere by threats, intimidation, or coercion with the exercise or enjoyment by any other person of rights secured by the State Constitution or laws of the state.
Felons, Removal of Disqualifications
Establishes law on when a person may be disqualified for employment because of the prior conviction for a crime, and under what conditions such disqualifications may be lifted.
Whistle Blower's Act
Prohibits retaliation against employees known as Whistle Blowers, and establishing rules for confidentiality.
Veteran's Preference in Employment
Establishes rules for state government and political subdivisions within the state for giving preference in the appointment and retention of disabled veterans, spouses of disabled veterans, veterans of certain wars and expeditions, and widows or widowers of veterans who died of service-connected disabilities.
Background Screening for Employment
Establishes rules for background screening prior to employment for different occupational levels.
Employment of Aliens
Prohibits any employer from employing any alien who is not authorized to work by immigration laws.
Drug-Free Workplace Act
Establishes the drug-testing standards and regulations necessary for requiring a drug-free workplace.
Defines domestic violence, establishes laws and rules regarding investigations, the batterers' intervention program, finding of guilt of intent to do bodily harm, sentencing and probation guidelines, and legislative intent guidelines for prosecution and the judiciary.
Repeat Violence, Sexual and Dating Violence
Defines repeat violence, sexual violence, and dating violence, and the actions and statutory remedies available to victims.
Defines stalking and the statutory remedies available to victims
Workplace violence or occupational violence crime (OVC) is defined as violent and/or threatening behavior in the workplace. Threatening behavior includes any behavior that could be interpreted by a reasonable person as an intent to cause physical harm to another individual. Threatening behavior may, or may not, include the actual act of physical force, with or without a weapon, toward another individual. Threatening behavior may be verbal or non-verbal.
Employees, who have knowledge of violent acts or threats of violence in the workplace, must report through the appropriate chain of command and have the right to have those complaints investigated.
Employees, who engage in violent or threatening acts against other employees or the public, shall be subject to appropriate sanctions, depending upon the circumstances, up to and including termination of employment, as well as possible criminal charges.
The Commission on Human Rights and Fair Employment Practices is not responsible for the investigation of workplace violence unless it’s based on a protected characteristic, such as the employee’s race, national origin, religion, etc.
If you are subjected to any threatening, verbal or physical harassment, please report this matter to the supervisor immediately, call 911 or engage the assistance of security personnel.
Accommodation for Employees with Disabilities
Miami-Dade County employees with disabilities may request special accommodations to overcome obstacles that restrict their ability to do their jobs. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects qualified individuals with disabilities from employment discrimination. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission offers further information on the ADA.
A reasonable accommodation is any change or adjustment to a job or work environment that permits a qualified applicant or employee with a disability to participate in the job application process, to perform the essential job functions, or enjoy the benefits and privileges of employment equal to those enjoyed by employees without disabilities.
When an individual qualifies for reasonable accommodation, the county is free to choose among effective accommodations, and may choose one that is less expensive or easier to provide. The County generally is not obligated to provide personal use items such as eyeglasses, a wheelchair or hearing aids.
The accommodation of reassignment should be considered only when an accommodation is not possible in an employee’s present job, or when an accommodation in the present job would cause undue hardship. All requests are handled on a case-by-case basis.
Brochures & Posters
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process in which a neutral, impartial mediator will assist Miami-Dade County employees to reach a negotiated, mutually acceptable agreement to resolve some or all of their issues. It is informal and allows for more open communication, gives parties the opportunity to clear up misunderstandings, find creative solutions and agreements, to, ultimately, incorporate into a written agreement. It is the alternative to the traditional, and many times lengthy, investigative process.
Who is the mediator and what is their role?
The mediator is a neutral, fair, impartial individual that guides the parties through the mediation process and has no stake in the outcome of the mediation. The mediator helps the parties talk to each other about the conflict so that each party can better understand why the conflict exists. Their role in the mediation is to help the parties develop a satisfactory and realistic resolution to their dispute through communication and problem solving. The mediator is there to help you. They will encourage the parties to listen to each other and discuss solutions that will work for both sides. They will recognize and promote common interests beyond the immediate issues of the dispute, to the mutual advantage of the parties. You should feel free to talk to them about your own perspective, however, the mediator will more than likely focus the parties on the future rather than dwell on events of the past that led to the dispute.
Why should I mediate?
Mediation can yield results that are faster and less contentious than a traditional investigation. Mediation is informal and flexible; there are no formal rules for providing evidence and you do not need an attorney to proceed.
Mediation sessions are also confidential and private. Therefore, what is discussed during the mediation cannot be revealed to anyone else, including by the mediator, except as required by law. All documentation created during the mediation or in connection with the mediation related to the substance of the issues involved cannot be kept after the mediation ends, including for use in a personnel file. Further, if a settlement is not reached, the parties cannot use what was stated during the mediation against the other party during the investigation.
In approximately 80 percent of the mediations held, the parties reach an agreement.
What is the cost of mediation?
Mediation services provided by our office are completely free.
How long is a mediation session?
The length of the mediation depends on the complexity of the issues and willingness of the parties to resolve the issues. However, most mediations are typically resolved during a one day session. If additional time is necessary to resolve the issues, a continuation may be called for by the mediator.
Do I need an attorney?
There is no need to hire an attorney if you are comfortable with attending the mediation on your own. However, if you have already retained an attorney, you should work closely with your attorney to prepare for the mediation.
Are there any benefits to obtaining an attorney?
An attorney could help you collect relevant information, develop a negotiation strategy and consider how to prepare for the mediation. You may also advise your attorney of the concerns that need to be addressed in order to resolve the dispute, such as monetary compensation, preserving the relationship with the other party or receiving an acknowledgement of wrongdoing. An attorney may also advise you on the risks involved in proceeding to an investigation or to court, the costs of going through the investigative process or through litigation and whether you are prepared to bear those costs.
What should I expect at the mediation session?
Mediation begins with all parties present at an open session. The mediator will give an introductory explanation of the process and their role. The mediator will explain that the process is confidential and will have each party sign a “Consent to Mediate” form. The parties will then have an opportunity to make statements presenting their case.
Afterwards, the parties will separate to individual rooms to a private meeting with the mediator, called a caucus. Information shared with the mediator during caucus will not be shared with the other party without the consent of the party providing it. At the caucus, the mediator can explore more fully the fact and issues of each side. The caucus also offers parties the chance to vent anger or frustration outside the presence of the opposing side. The mediator will usually alternate meeting with each party until an agreement is reached. The mediation may be ended upon request at any point by any participant or the mediator and without need for explanation.
How do I prepare for mediation?
- Each party should only attend if they come in a good faith effort to listen to each other, be reasonable towards each other, and work together to come to a resolution.
- Each party should have a clear, realistic idea of what they want to achieve during the course of the mediation.
- Each party should have full authority to carry out the action called for in the agreement.
- Each party should bring all relevant documents and evidence that would be helpful for the other party or the mediator to see in order to better understand their side of the dispute.
- Each party should make a list of their case’s strengths and weaknesses.
- Each party should state sufficient information so that each party is clear on the issues.
- Each party should compare possible agreements with the alternatives, consider the costs, time and effort required, effect on your relationships with the other party and other people, and the value of just getting the matter resolved, among other things.
- Each party should keep an open mind, be prepared to listen to the other side, talk openly and honestly about their concerns, and work together to reach an agreement that works for both parties.
What happens if a resolution is reached?
Mediation sessions generally end when the participants come to a resolution. The resolution may be verbal, representing a mutual understanding, or written. When the agreement is in writing, the mediator will assist the participants in drafting the agreement. The agreement will then be signed by all of the parties. HRFEP will confirm consistency with departmental policies and procedures prior to agreeing to sign the written document.
What if there is no resolution?
There are times when mediation does not result in a resolution of the issues. If a resolution is not achieved, the mediator will declare an impasse. The case will then be returned to an HRFEP Specialist and an investigation of the allegations will ensue.
How can I request a Mediation?
If you are a county employee, simply contact your Department’s Fair Employment Practices Liaison (FEPL) and inform them of your workplace conflict. Your FEPL will then contact us and we will schedule your mediation.
If you are a county citizen, please contact the Commission on Human Rights by e-mail, phone, in person, or by writing to the following address:
Miami-Dade County Commission on Human Rights
Stephen P. Clark Center
111 NW 1st St., STE 2100
MIAMI, FL 33128
Fax: 305-375-2114 or 305-372-6017