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Human Rights

The Commission on Human Rights is authorized to investigate allegations of discrimination under federal, state and local laws. The services provided by the Commission on Human Rights are available to all Miami-Dade County citizens.

The Miami-Dade County Commission on Human Rights promotes fairness and equal opportunity in employment, housing, public accommodations, credit and financing practices, family leave and domestic violence leave.  Discrimination based on race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, pregnancy, age, disability, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, veteran status or source of income is prohibited.

 

How to file a complaint

The human rights discrimination complaint process PDF begins with an initial inquiry. The process may involve mediation, an investigation, a probable cause finding, a public hearing PDF or appeal.

If you believe you have been discriminated against, you may file a complaint PDF with the Miami-Dade County Commission on Human Rights by 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 2220
MIAMI   FL 33128
Phone: 305-375-5272
Fax: 305-375-2114 or 305-372-6017
E-mail ofep@miamidade.gov

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Complaint Investigations

Each investigation is different depending on the circumstances involved.

The investigator assigned to your case may subpoena witnesses and documents, make site visits, conduct interviews, and/or hold fact-finding conferences.

The complainant will be given an opportunity to offer a rebuttal to the respondent's defense.

If the parties do not reach a settlement agreement, the Commission on Human Rights will issue an investigative report, outlining findings and recommendations.

These recommendations will become final after fifteen days, unless either party appeals to the Commission or pursues the matter in a court of appropriate jurisdiction.

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Complaint Mediation

Mediation is a fair and efficient process to help you resolve your employment disputes and reach an agreement. A neutral mediator assists you in reaching a voluntary, negotiated agreement. Choosing mediation to resolve employment discrimination disputes promotes a better work environment, reduces cost, and works for the employer and the employee. A majority of mediation participants reported being satisfied with the mediators and the mediation process, according to a survey aimed at gauging participants' perceptions of the program.

Mediation is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) that is offered by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) as an alternative to the traditional investigative or litigation process. Mediation is an informal process in which a neutral third party assists the opposing parties to reach a voluntary, negotiated resolution of a charge of discrimination.

The decision to mediate is completely voluntary for the charging party and the employer. Mediation gives the parties the opportunity to discuss the issues raised in the charge, clear up misunderstandings, determine the underlying interests or concerns, find areas of agreement and, ultimately, to incorporate those areas of agreements into resolutions.

A mediator does not resolve the charge or impose a decision on the parties. Instead, the mediator helps the parties to agree on a mutually acceptable resolution.

The mediation process is strictly confidential. Information disclosed during mediation will not be revealed to anyone, including other CHR employees.

How Mediation Works

A Miami-Dade County Commission on Human Rights representative will contact the employee and employer concerning their participation in the program. If both parties agree, a mediation session conducted by a trained and experienced mediator is scheduled.

While it is not necessary to have an attorney in order to participate in Commission on Human Rights' Mediation Program, either party may choose to do so. It is important that persons attending the mediation session PDF have the authority to resolve the dispute. If mediation is unsuccessful, the charge is investigated like any other charge.

Advantages of Mediation

  • Mediation is an efficient process that saves time and money. Successful mediation avoids a time consuming investigation and achieves a prompt resolution of the charge. The majority of mediations are completed in one session, which usually lasts for one to five hours.
  • Mediation is fair. Mediators are neutral third parties who have no interest in the outcome. Their role is to help the parties resolve the charge.
  • Mediation is a confidential process. The sessions are not tape-recorded or transcribed. Notes taken during the mediation are discarded.
  • Settlement agreements secured during mediation do not constitute an admission by the employer of any violation of laws enforced by the Commission on Human Rights.
  • Mediation avoids lengthy and unnecessary litigation.
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Complaint Appeals

The Miami-Dade County Commission on Human Rights' recommendations will become final after 15 days, unless either party appeals to the Commission or pursues the matter in a court of appropriate jurisdiction. The appeals board consists of 26 volunteer members of the community who are appointed by the Board of County Commissioners. They conduct meetings as often as necessary to hear appeals. At the appeals hearing, both parties, may or may not be represented by legal counsel, present their case before the Commission's panel members.

The parties can compel attendance of witnesses and the production of documents. After all testimony and evidence has been presented, the hearing panel makes a decision to uphold, modify, or overturn the director's determination. The Commission then issues a final order which may be appealed in Circuit Court.

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Relief

If the Director and/or the Commission finds cause to believe that discrimination has taken place, they will make such necessary recommendations to put the aggrieved party in the same position as he/she would have been, absent the discrimination. These recommendations may include, but not be limited to, back pay, reinstatement, and reasonable attorney's fees.

 

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Page Last Edited: Wed Mar 26, 2014 5:51:12 PM
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