|Introduced in House||Passed House||Introduced in Senate||Passed Senate||Became Law|
Florida Commission on Human Relations
Revising quorum requirements for the Commission on Human Relations and its panels; revising the number of persons the commission must recommend for the Florida Civil Rights Hall of Fame; deleting a requirement that a facility or community that provides housing for older persons register with and submit a letter to the commission; deleting the requirement for the commission or Attorney General to investigate a complaint of discrimination in evaluating an application for club membership, etc.
Florida Senate - 2020 SB 726 By Senator Rouson 19-01053-20 2020726__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to the Florida Commission on Human 3 Relations; amending s. 760.03, F.S.; revising quorum 4 requirements for the Commission on Human Relations and 5 its panels; amending s. 760.065, F.S.; revising the 6 number of persons the commission must recommend for 7 the Florida Civil Rights Hall of Fame; amending s. 8 760.11, F.S.; requiring the commission to provide 9 notice to an aggrieved person under specified 10 circumstances; providing notice requirements; limiting 11 the time the aggrieved person has to commence a civil 12 action regarding a violation of the Florida Civil 13 Rights Act; amending s. 760.29, F.S.; deleting a 14 requirement that a facility or community that provides 15 housing for older persons register with and submit a 16 letter to the commission; amending s. 760.31, F.S.; 17 conforming a provision to changes made by the act; 18 amending s. 760.60, F.S.; deleting the requirement for 19 the commission or Attorney General to investigate a 20 complaint of discrimination in evaluating an 21 application for club membership; revising the length 22 of time the commission or Attorney General has to 23 resolve such a complaint; amending s. 112.31895, F.S.; 24 revising the timeline relating to a complaint alleging 25 a prohibited personnel action; deleting a requirement 26 that the commission notify a complainant upon receipt 27 of the complaint; providing an effective date. 28 29 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 30 31 Section 1. Subsection (5) of section 760.03, Florida 32 Statutes, is amended to read: 33 760.03 Commission on Human Relations; staff.— 34 (5) A quorum is necessary for the conduct of official 35 business. Unless otherwise provided by law, a quorum consists of 36 a majority of the currently appointed commissioners.
Seven37 members shall constitute a quorum for the conduct of business;38 however,The commission may establish panels of not less than 39 three of its members to exercise its powers under the Florida 40 Civil Rights Act of 1992, subject to such procedures and 41 limitations as the commission may provide by rule. 42 Notwithstanding this subsection, three appointed members serving 43 on panels shall constitute a quorum for the conduct of official 44 business of the panel. 45 Section 2. Paragraph (a) of subsection (3) of section 46 760.065, Florida Statutes, is amended to read: 47 760.065 Florida Civil Rights Hall of Fame.— 48 (3)(a) The commission shall annually accept nominations for 49 persons to be recommended as members of the Florida Civil Rights 50 Hall of Fame. The commission shall recommend up to 10 persons 51 from which the Governor shall select up to 3 hall-of-fame 52 members. 53 Section 3. Subsection (8) of section 760.11, Florida 54 Statutes, is amended to read: 55 760.11 Administrative and civil remedies; construction.— 56 (8) If In the event thatthe commission fails to conciliate 57 or determine whether there is reasonable cause on any complaint 58 under this section within 180 days of the filing of the 59 complaint: ,60 (a) An aggrieved person may proceed under subsection (4) ,61 as if the commission determined that there was reasonable cause. 62 (b) The commission shall promptly notify the aggrieved 63 person of the failure to conciliate or determine whether there 64 is reasonable cause. The notice shall provide the options 65 available to the aggrieved person under subsection (4) and 66 inform the aggrieved person that a civil action is prohibited if 67 not filed within 1 year after the date the commission certifies 68 that the notice was mailed. 69 (c) Any civil action brought by an aggrieved person under 70 this section must be commenced within 1 year after the date the 71 commission certifies that the notice was mailed pursuant to 72 paragraph (b). 73 Section 4. Subsection (4) of section 760.29, Florida 74 Statutes, is amended to read: 75 760.29 Exemptions.— 76 (4)(a) Any provision of ss. 760.20-760.37 regarding 77 familial status does not apply with respect to housing for older 78 persons. 79 (b) As used in this subsection, the term “housing for older 80 persons” means housing: 81 1. Provided under any state or federal program that the 82 commission determines is specifically designed and operated to 83 assist elderly persons, as defined in the state or federal 84 program; 85 2. Intended for, and solely occupied by, persons 62 years 86 of age or older; or 87 3. Intended and operated for occupancy by persons 55 years 88 of age or older that meets the following requirements: 89 a. At least 80 percent of the occupied units are occupied 90 by at least one person 55 years of age or older. 91 b. The housing facility or community publishes and adheres 92 to policies and procedures that demonstrate the intent required 93 under this subparagraph. If the housing facility or community 94 meets the requirements of sub-subparagraphs a. and c. and the 95 recorded governing documents provide for an adult, senior, or 96 retirement housing facility or community and the governing 97 documents lack an amendatory procedure, prohibit amendments, or 98 restrict amendments until a specified future date, then that 99 housing facility or community shall be deemed housing for older 100 persons intended and operated for occupancy by persons 55 years 101 of age or older. If those documents further provide a 102 prohibition against residents 16 years of age or younger, that 103 provision shall be construed, for purposes of the Fair Housing 104 Act, to only apply to residents 18 years of age or younger, in 105 order to conform with federal law requirements. Governing 106 documents which can be amended at a future date must be amended 107 and properly recorded within 1 year after that date to reflect 108 the requirements for consideration as housing for older persons, 109 if that housing facility or community intends to continue as 110 housing for older persons. 111 c. The housing facility or community complies with rules 112 made by the Secretary of the United States Department of Housing 113 and Urban Development pursuant to 24 C.F.R. part 100 for 114 verification of occupancy, which rules provide for verification 115 by reliable surveys and affidavits and include examples of the 116 types of policies and procedures relevant to a determination of 117 compliance with the requirements of sub-subparagraph b. Such 118 surveys and affidavits are admissible in administrative and 119 judicial proceedings for the purposes of such verification. 120 (c) Housing shall not fail to be considered housing for 121 older persons if: 122 1. A person who resides in such housing on or after October 123 1, 1989, does not meet the age requirements of this subsection, 124 provided that any new occupant meets such age requirements; or 125 2. One or more units are unoccupied, provided that any 126 unoccupied units are reserved for occupancy by persons who meet 127 the age requirements of this subsection. 128 (d) A person shall not be personally liable for monetary 129 damages for a violation of this subsection if such person 130 reasonably relied in good faith on the application of the 131 exemption under this subsection relating to housing for older 132 persons. For purposes of this paragraph, a person may show good 133 faith reliance on the application of the exemption only by 134 showing that: 135 1. The person has no actual knowledge that the facility or 136 the community is ineligible, or will become ineligible, for such 137 exemption; and 138 2. The facility or community has stated formally, in 139 writing, that the facility or community complies with the 140 requirements for such exemption. 141 (e) A facility or community claiming an exemption under142 this subsection shall register with the commission and submit a143 letter to the commission stating that the facility or community144 complies with the requirements of subparagraph (b)1.,145 subparagraph (b)2., or subparagraph (b)3. The letter shall be146 submitted on the letterhead of the facility or community and147 shall be signed by the president of the facility or community.148 This registration and documentation shall be renewed biennially149 from the date of original filing. The information in the150 registry shall be made available to the public, and the151 commission shall include this information on an Internet152 website. The commission may establish a reasonable registration153 fee, not to exceed $20, that shall be deposited into the154 commissions trust fund to defray the administrative costs155 associated with maintaining the registry. The commission may156 impose an administrative fine, not to exceed $500, on a facility157 or community that knowingly submits false information in the158 documentation required by this paragraph. Such fines shall be159 deposited in the commissions trust fund. The registration and160 documentation required by this paragraph shall not substitute161 for proof of compliance with the requirements of this162 subsection. Failure to comply with the requirements of this163 paragraph shall not disqualify a facility or community that164 otherwise qualifies for the exemption provided in this165 subsection.166 167 A county or municipal ordinance regarding housing for older 168 persons may not contravene the provisions of this subsection. 169 Section 5. Subsection (5) of section 760.31, Florida 170 Statutes, is amended to read: 171 760.31 Powers and duties of commission.—The commission 172 shall: 173 (5) Adopt rules necessary to implement ss. 760.20-760.37 174 and govern the proceedings of the commission in accordance with 175 chapter 120. Commission rules shall clarify terms used with 176 regard to handicapped accessibility, exceptions from 177 accessibility requirements based on terrain or site 178 characteristics, and requirements related to housing for older 179 persons. Commission rules shall specify the fee and the forms180 and procedures to be used for the registration required by s.181 760.29(4)(e).182 Section 6. Subsections (2) and (3) of section 760.60, 183 Florida Statutes, are amended to read: 184 760.60 Discriminatory practices of certain clubs 185 prohibited; remedies.— 186 (2) A person who has been discriminated against in 187 violation of this act may file a complaint with the Commission 188 on Human Relations or with the Attorney Generals Office of 189 Civil Rights. A complaint must be in writing and must contain 190 such information and be in such form as the commission requires. 191 Upon receipt of a complaint, the commission or the Attorney 192 General shall provide a copy to the person who represents the 193 club. Within 30 days after receiving a complaint, the commission 194 or the Attorney General shall investigate the alleged195 discrimination andgive notice in writing to the person who 196 filed the complaint if it intends to resolve the complaint. If 197 the commission or the Attorney General decides to resolve the 198 complaint, it shall attempt to eliminate or correct the alleged 199 discriminatory practices of a club by informal methods of 200 conference, conciliation, and persuasion. 201 (3) If the commission or the Attorney General fails, within 202 30 days after receiving a complaint filed pursuant to subsection 203 (2), to give notice of its intent to eliminate or correct the 204 alleged discriminatory practices of a club, or if the commission 205 or the Attorney General fails to resolve the complaint within 45 206 30days after giving such notice, the person or the Attorney 207 General on behalf of the person filing the complaint may 208 commence a civil action in a court against the club, its 209 officers, or its members to enforce this section. If the court 210 finds that a discriminatory practice occurs at the club, the 211 court may enjoin the club, its officers, or its members from 212 engaging in such practice or may order other appropriate action. 213 Section 7. Subsections (1) and (2), paragraphs (d) and (e) 214 of subsection (3), and paragraph (a) of subsection (4) of 215 section 112.31895, Florida Statutes, are amended to read: 216 112.31895 Investigative procedures in response to 217 prohibited personnel actions.— 218 (1)(a) If a disclosure under s. 112.3187 includes or 219 results in alleged retaliation by an employer, the employee or 220 former employee of, or applicant for employment with, a state 221 agency, as defined in s. 216.011, that is so affected may file a 222 complaint alleging a prohibited personnel action, which 223 complaint must be made by filing a written complaint with the 224 Office of the Chief Inspector General in the Executive Office of 225 the Governor or the Florida Commission on Human Relations, no 226 later than 60 days after the prohibited personnel action. 227 (b) Within 5 threeworking days after receiving a complaint 228 under this section, the office or officer receiving the 229 complaint shall acknowledge receipt of the complaint and provide 230 copies of the complaint and any other preliminary information 231 available concerning the disclosure of information under s. 232 112.3187 to each of the other parties named in paragraph (a), 233 which parties shall each acknowledge receipt of such copies to 234 the complainant. 235 (2) FACT FINDING.—The Florida Commission on Human Relations 236 shall: 237 (a) Receive any allegation of a personnel action prohibited 238 by s. 112.3187, including a proposed or potential action, and 239 conduct informal fact finding regarding any allegation under 240 this section, to the extent necessary to determine whether there 241 are reasonable grounds to believe that a prohibited personnel 242 action under s. 112.3187 has occurred, is occurring, or is to be 243 taken. 244 (b) Notify the complainant, within 15 days after receiving245 a complaint, that the complaint has been received by the246 department.247 (b) (c)Within 180 90days after receiving the complaint, 248 provide the agency head and the complainant with a fact-finding 249 report that may include recommendations to the parties or 250 proposed resolution of the complaint. The fact-finding report 251 shall be presumed admissible in any subsequent or related 252 administrative or judicial review. 253 (3) CORRECTIVE ACTION AND TERMINATION OF INVESTIGATION.— 254 (d) If the Florida Commission on Human Relations is unable 255 to conciliate a complaint within 35 60days after receipt of the 256 fact-finding report, the Florida Commission on Human Relations 257 shall terminate the investigation. Upon termination of any 258 investigation, the Florida Commission on Human Relations shall 259 notify the complainant and the agency head of the termination of 260 the investigation, providing a summary of relevant facts found 261 during the investigation and the reasons for terminating the 262 investigation. A written statement under this paragraph is 263 presumed admissible as evidence in any judicial or 264 administrative proceeding but is not admissible without the 265 consent of the complainant. 266 (e)1. The Florida Commission on Human Relations may request 267 an agency or circuit court to order a stay, on such terms as the 268 court requires, of any personnel action for 45 days if the 269 Florida Commission on Human Relations determines that reasonable 270 grounds exist to believe that a prohibited personnel action has 271 occurred, is occurring, or is to be taken. The Florida 272 Commission on Human Relations may request that such stay be 273 extended for appropriate periods of time. 274 2. If, in connection with any investigation, the Florida 275 Commission on Human Relations determines that reasonable grounds 276 exist to believe that a prohibited action has occurred, is 277 occurring, or is to be taken which requires corrective action, 278 the Florida Commission on Human Relations shall report the 279 determination together with any findings or recommendations to 280 the agency head and may report that determination and those 281 findings and recommendations to the Governor and the Chief 282 Financial Officer. The Florida Commission on Human Relations may 283 include in the report recommendations for corrective action to 284 be taken. 285 3. If, after 35 20days, the agency does not implement the 286 recommended action, the Florida Commission on Human Relations 287 shall terminate the investigation and notify the complainant of 288 the right to appeal under subsection (4), or may petition the 289 agency for corrective action under this subsection. 290 4. If the Florida Commission on Human Relations finds, in 291 consultation with the individual subject to the prohibited 292 action, that the agency has implemented the corrective action, 293 the commission shall file such finding with the agency head, 294 together with any written comments that the individual provides, 295 and terminate the investigation. 296 (4) RIGHT TO APPEAL.— 297 (a) Not more than 21 60days after receipt of a notice of 298 termination of the investigation from the Florida Commission on 299 Human Relations, the complainant may file, with the Public 300 Employees Relations Commission, a complaint against the 301 employer-agency regarding the alleged prohibited personnel 302 action. The Public Employees Relations Commission shall have 303 jurisdiction over such complaints under ss. 112.3187 and 304 447.503(4) and (5). 305 Section 8. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.
|01/15/2020||Senate||Favorable by Judiciary; YEAS 5 NAYS 0 -SJ 154 Now in Rules|
|01/14/2020||Senate||Introduced -SJ 56|
|01/10/2020||Senate||On Committee agenda-- Judiciary, 01/15/20, 10:15 am, 110 Senate Building|
|12/09/2019||Senate||Favorable by Governmental Oversight and Accountability; YEAS 5 NAYS 0 -SJ 132 Now in Judiciary|
|12/02/2019||Senate||On Committee agenda-- Governmental Oversight and Accountability, 12/09/19, 1:30 pm, 301 Senate Building|
|11/21/2019||Senate||Referred to Governmental Oversight and Accountability; Judiciary; Rules -SJ 56|