Florida Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is an unfortunate reality that many employees suffer on a daily basis in Florida. Despite what you may see in the media, sexual harrassment often goes unreported and unpunished. Millions of people across Florida are likely subject to some form of sexual harassment on a daily basis. Federal and Florida law strictly prohibit sexual harassment by your employer.
The Law Office of Patrick K. Elliott, PLLC, is located in Tampa, Florida. The firm’s primary area of practice is in employment and consumer issues. Unfortunately, sexual harassment is rampant in the workplace, and Patrick Elliott is committed to ensuring that all employees get the same opportunity at their jobs that all people receive. Employment Lawyer Patrick Elliott represents victims of sexual harassment in the workplace and against all types of corporate entities, both large and small.
No matter how hostile the environment or powerful the employer, the firm can help you fight back.If you’ve been subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace and you live in Florida, you have rights. Call today to schedule a free consultation if you you have any legal questions concerning sexual harassment in the workplace. All call are confidential and your privacy is the firm’s utmost concern.
What Constitutes Sexual Harassment in Florida
As established by Title VII and the Florida Civil Rights Act, it is unlawful for employers to make employment decisions based on membership in a protected class. Although not an exhaustive list, Florida and Federal law protect people from being discriminated against because their race; color; religion; national origin; ancestry; sex; or age.
Florida laws prohibit victims of unwelcome sexual conduct in the workplace. The law prohibits unwelcome sexual conduct that so is unwelcome and ongoing that it creates a hostile and abusive working environment.
Who Enforces Laws Against Sexual Harassment
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) “is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person’s race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. It is also illegal to discriminate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit”.
In other words, it is unlawful to harass a person (an applicant or employee) because of that person’s sex. Harassment can include “sexual harassment” or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.
Harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature, however, and can include offensive remarks about a person’s sex. For example, it is illegal to harass a woman by making offensive comments about women in general.
Both victim and the harasser can be either a woman or a man, and the victim and harasser can be the same sex.
Although the law doesn’t prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted).
The harasser can be the victim’s supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer.
Types of Unlawful Sexual Behavior in the Workplace
Title VII, the Florida Civil Rights Act (FCRA), and even local ordinances specifically protect you from sexual harassment. The only problem is it usually first takes a lawsuit to changes the offender’s behavior. The law prohibits discrimination that derives from conduct of a sexual explicit nature. In Florida, the laws laws take a comprehensive approach to sexual harassment, including unwelcome verbal and physical behavior.
Florida law includes two main categories of sexual harassment in the workplace:
Quid Pro Quo: The employee is forced to submit to explicitly sexual conduct in order to keep their job, their current position, their pay grade, and an employer might even try to base a promotion or a raise on whether you perform a sexual favor; and
Hostile Working Environment: A hostile work environment happens when you’re forced to endure a hostile and abusive working environment when you’re subjected to severe and pervasive unwanted sexual advances and propositions.
Contrary to your employer’s mistaken belief, they are not the final decision maker on what is right and wrong. You have a right to be free from unwanted sexual harassment in the workplace. Further, you simply cannot trust Human Resources (HR) in cases where you are the victim of unwanted sexual attention from your boss or an employee.
However, you do have rights as the Florida Civil Rights Act and Title VII are both a sword and a shield, meant to protect employees from unwelcome sexual behavior that creates abusive working environments. You have a right to earn a living for yourself and your family without being the victim of sexual harrassment when you’re at work. If you’ve been the victim of sexual harrassment, call Florida Sexual Harassment Lawyer Patrick K. Elliott.
Call (800) 563-1409 today to schedule a free consultation. Pay no upfront costs and fees and pay nothing unless you receive compensation.
If you or a loved one were the victim of sexual harassment, the road forward can appear overly daunting and you can feel alone. That’s how they want you to feel. For more information, call Patrick Elliott today or visit the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Remember, your livelihood hangs in the balance and it’s important to have somebody on your side fighting for you. Florida Sexual Harassment Lawyer Patrick K. Elliott will help you safeguard your rights, hold the wrongdoers accountable, and help you regain a semblance of what your life used to be.