Though sexual harassment seems to be an unavoidable topic of conversation and covered widely by the media, too many people in Florida experience it daily in their place of business without ever reporting their ongoing discomfort, anxiety, or even fear. While at times sexual harassment is blatant, it can also be implicit and difficult to pinpoint. Employees subject to sexual harassment are frequently reluctant to report words or action because they feel they will be retaliated against, particularly when the offender is someone who is in a supervisory position. It’s important to know that you have the legal right to work without sexual harassment, and to file a claim about such misconduct without facing workplace retaliation. The dedicated team of employment attorneys at My.Attorney is ready to help.
Defining and Explaining Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment refers to unwelcome sexual words or actions as well as requests for sexual favors. It includes targeting a person because of gender or disparaging one gender in such a way that the workplace environment becomes toxic to one or more of the people working there. My.Attorney handles all types of sexual harassment claims. Contact us by downloading our app for a thorough evaluation of your case. We have the credentials, track record, and aggressive litigation skills to win you the compensation you deserve. We also have several convenient offices throughout the state.
In Florida, laws covering sexual harassment include Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and The Florida Civil Rights Act. Both prohibit employment practices that discriminate based on sex, pregnancy or marital status. Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and any other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that negatively impacts work performance. Both the federal and Florida Civil Rights Acts cover public and private businesses with 15 or more employees.
Types Of Sexual Harassment
My.Attorney employment lawyers have the well-honed skills to assist you in navigating the turbulent waters between your complaint and receiving the compensation you deserve both for the unfair treatment and for any retaliation your firm has taken against you. We not only have outstanding credentials, but an excellent track record of winning substantial damages for our sexual harassment clients, including reinstatement after wrongful termination, lost income, and compensation for extreme emotional distress.
There are two designated types of sexual harassment:
- Quid pro quo harassment
Quid pro quo occurs when a person in a position of authority demands sexual favors as a prerequisite to employment, a raise, a bonus, a promotion, or some other job-related incentive.
- Hostile work environment
A hostile work environment exists when an employee is subjected to unwelcome sexual conduct in the form of inappropriate touching, comments or jokes of a sexual nature, or references to his/her sexual preferences or activities. The law presumes such conduct, in order to be prosecuted, must be severe or pervasive enough to interfere with the victim’s ability to work — in other words, a single double entendre or remark of a sexual nature does not qualify as sexual harassment, but daily remarks on your sexual attractiveness (or unattractiveness), or constant posting of offensive sexual images does.
In either case, proving or defending a sexual harassment claim can be complicated. Although quid pro quo harassment seems relatively straight forward, these cases can become a matter of “he said, she said” without sufficient evidence. Similarly, hostile work environment claims hinge on determining the types of behaviors that qualify as harassment. My.Attorney’s sexual harassment lawyers know precisely how to gather evidence and interview witnesses in order to prove your case.
Specific actions that may constitute sexual harassment include:
- Asking an employee about his or her sex life
- Circulating nude or other inappropriate photos of women or men
- Commenting on the appearance of others in front of an employee
- Discussing one’s sex life in front of an employee
- Leaving unwanted gifts of a sexual or romantic nature
- Making sexual jokes or sexual gestures
- Repeated comments about an employee’s appearance
- Repeated hugs or other unwanted touching (e.g. a hand on an employee’s back)
- Sending sexually suggestive text messages or emails
- Spreading sexual rumors about an employee
Under Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, conduct must be offensive enough to be considered so by a reasonable person in the same circumstances.
Gender Discrimination and Hostile Work Environment
You should be aware that you need not be the target of harassment for it to create a hostile work environment for you. You may be sufficiently embarrassed, threatened or distressed as a third party observing such conduct for it to have a negative impact on your productivity.
It is also possible that you are routinely assigned menial tasks because of your gender, or barred from workplace meetings at which other staff members of your work status are included, simply because of your gender. This, too, may qualify as sexual harassment. Check with My. Attorney to find out whether you have a viable case.
Many people are unaware that sexual harassment needn’t be perpetrated by supervisors or colleagues. Your employer is responsible for keeping you safe from unwanted sexual attention of clients, vendors, customers or business associates. Asking or implying that you should “entertain” clients by behaving in a sexually provocative manner is also forbidden.
While women are more often the victims in sexual harassment claims, remember that men are targetted as well. Offenders may assume that men will not file claims because it makes them seem “weak” or “less masculine.” Nothing could be farther from the truth. Don’t be victimized. Strength is demonstrated by standing up for your rights.
Contact Our Florida Sexual Harassment Lawyer
You may feel embarrassed or frightened about filing a sexual harassment claim against your employer, but with My.Attorney at your side you need not worry. We are sharp negotiators and forceful litigators. You can rest assured that if we take your case we plan to win you damages. If your employer has attempted to retaliate by wrongful termination or some other method, such actions will only increase the compensation you’re entitled to receive. Contact our team of attorneys by downloading the app, calling us at #4LAW or by filling out the contact form.