The Pinellas County Office of Human Rights administers Chapter 70 of the Pinellas County Code of Ordinances, which prohibits discrimination in employment because of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy discrimination and sexual harassment), sexual orientation, national origin, age, marital status or disability. This law, which applies to all employers located in Pinellas County with five or more employees, labor organizations, and public and private employment agencies, covers all conditions and terms of employment including recruitment, selection, promotion, transfer, pay, tenure, discipline, discharge and privileges.
Employment Discrimination Complaints
An employment discrimination complaint must be filed with the Office of Human Rights within 180 days of the date that the discrimination took place. You can start a complaint by writing, calling or visiting the Office of Human Rights. If you win in a complaint, you may be awarded specific relief to eliminate the effects of the discriminatory action.
If a complaint involves employers with 15 or more employees and are based upon race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age (over 40) or disability, they are also filed with the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, is the federal law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits discrimination on the basis of a disability. For further information on the EEOC and federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination, visit www.EEOC.gov.
You are protected when you file a complaint. Retaliation against someone who has filed a complaint, agreed to be a witness or is assisted in an investigation of employment discrimination is against the law.
Only discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, marital status or disability is covered by these laws. If your complaint alleges any other type of discriminatory or unfair treatment, the Office of Human Rights has no jurisdiction in the matter. You should provide your full name, address and telephone number where you can be reached and keep the office informed should there be any change in this information as the investigation progresses. Provide as much information as possible on all parties who were involved in the alleged act of discrimination, especially the correct legal name and address of the person or organization you believe discriminated against you. Inform us of any other agency with which you have filed a complaint.
You will be asked to provide a written account of the discriminatory situation in chronological order beginning six months prior to the date of the most recent alleged discriminatory action, along with any documents that may be relevant to your complaint of discrimination. Please attempt to provide the name, address and telephone number of, or a notarized statement from, any witness to the alleged discriminatory action.
Pinellas County Office of Human Rights
400 S. Ft. Harrison Ave., 5th Floor
Clearwater, FL 33756
PH: (727) 464-4880
FAX: (727) 464-4157
TDD: (727) 464-4062
To file a complaint, complete an Employment Discrimination Questionnaire.
In order to address complaints quickly, the department offers a mediation service. If both parties agree, a conference will be scheduled with a mediator before an investigation.
An investigator will be assigned to investigate the complaint. Following the investigation, the investigator will make a recommendation as to whether or not there is substantial evidence to believe that an act of unlawful discrimination has occurred. If the Office of Human Rights finds there is no reasonable cause to believe that discrimination has occurred, it will dismiss the complaint. If the complaint has been dual filed with EEOC, a right-to-sue letter will be issued by that agency allowing the Charging Party to take the matter to federal court.
If the Office of Human Rights finds cause to believe unlawful discrimination has occurred, conciliation discussions will be encouraged to negotiate a settlement that satisfies both parties. Cases resulting in an unconciliated cause finding that have been dual filed with the EEOC will be forwarded to that agency for the issuance of a right-to-sue letter. Cases resulting in an unconciliated cause finding that are not dual filed with EEOC are referred to an Administrative Law Judge. The Administrative Law Judge then sets the case for public hearing and may issue an order awarding actual damages, reasonable costs and/or attorney’s fees.
The Office of Human Rights conducts scheduled training sessions for public and private organizations upon request. These training programs address issues such as sexual harassment, diversity and equal employment opportunity. For more information on training programs, contact the Office of Human Rights at (727) 464-4880 and ask for the training coordinator.
E-mail addresses are public records under Florida law and are not exempt from public records requirements. If you do not want your e-mail address to be subject to being released pursuant to a public records request, do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact this office by telephone or in writing, via the United States Postal Service.