A Fort Lauderdale Employment Lawyer on How an Employee Proves a Discriminatory Motive

Florida has established laws in place that protect employees and job applicants from discrimination. However, a Ft. Lauderdale employment lawyer can explain that an individual must be a member of a specific class to be afforded protection and employers often discriminate in subtle ways that are difficult to prove.

Protected Classes

By statute, according to a Ft. Lauderdale employment attorney, discrimination directed towards an individual on the basis of any of these characteristics is unlawful:

  • Religion;
  • National origin
  • Race
  • Color
  • Sex
  • Age
  • Handicap
  • Marital status

As a practical matter, no employer will overtly base a hiring or promotion decision on such issues, but the proof a Ft. Lauderdale employment lawyer will need to prove discrimination must be discerned from the attendant facts and circumstances of the case.

Legitimate Business Reason vs. Pretext

If challenged, the employer will claim the negative employee action was based on a non-discriminatory reason when, in fact, the real reason may in fact be some personal bias or animosity. Some factors a Ft. Lauderdale employment lawyer will investigate include:

  • The make-up of the workforce in general: Is it strikingly devoid of members of protected classes?
  • The management: Who is advancing in the company, and who seems to be remaining stagnant? and
  • Patterns in discipline or termination: Do certain groups seem disproportionately cited?


A Ft. Lauderdale employment attorney often observes incidences where an employee complains about a potential employment discrimination issue and subsequently finds themselves subject to a negative employee action. This sort of employer behavior is discriminatory as well.


Among the damages a Ft. Lauderdale employment lawyer will seek on behalf of a victim of employment discrimination are:

  • Hiring;
  • Promotion;
  • Reinstatement;
  • Back pay;
  • Reasonable accommodations; and
  • Any other compensatory remedies that will make the individual whole again.

Contact a Ft. Lauderdale Employment Attorney for Legal Advice

Discrimination on any level should not be tolerated If you have been a victim, stand up and assert your rights. Begin with a telephone call to Mark J. Berkowitz, P.A., a Ft. Lauderdale employment lawyer, at (954) 527-0570.