Sexual harassment includes any unwelcome verbal, physical or non-verbal conduct that is sexual in nature. Anything from a lewd joke to a direct physical assault can be considered sexual harassment. Victims can be of any age, race, gender or sexual orientation, as can be the harassers. It is just as wrong for a woman to proposition a man for sex as it is for a man to proposition a woman or for same sex sexual harassment. In addition, a victim may not have to be directly involved in the actions or comments in order for them to feel offended and file a sexual harassment complaint.
Sexual harassment creates a hostile work environment for the victim and can lead to them feeling embarrassed, isolated or afraid to come to work. Many victims do not come forward because they are afraid that the harasser will retaliate. However, Florida law protects those who have been violated or offended because of someone’s unwanted sexual advances. Anyone who has suffered from sexual harassment at work has a right to come forward and make a formal complaint against the offender to ensure that the behaviors cease immediately.
Examples of Sexual Harassment
There are many types of behaviors that can be classified as sexual harassment. The key factor in all sexual harassment cases is that the behavior is unwelcome by the victim. The following are just some of the many actions and comments that can lead a person to feel insecure in their work environment:
• Joke or comment about someone’s body or clothes
• Quid pro quo (this for that) sexual requests
• Lewd email containing sexually offensive commentary or pictures
• Inappropriate and unwelcome touching (i.e. hugging, kissing, groping)
• Rape or attempt at rape
Sexual Harassment Laws in Florida
It is against the law for an employer to discriminate against an existing employee or potential hire based on any factors that are not job-related. This includes any physical aspect of a person, their sexual orientation, gender, race, age, disability and marital status. An employer may not discriminate against an individual if they refuse to acquiesce to an employer’s sexual demands either.
An employer may be liable to an employee for sexual harassment charges at the workplace if they have said or done anything sexual in nature that is offensive and unwanted. In addition to federal laws against sexual harassment at work, the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992 secures an employee’s right to be free from discrimination due to sex, race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, or marital status and protects an individual’s “personal dignity.”
The laws that determine what kind of behaviors classify as sexual harassment are complex. Sometimes, matters can be resolved in-house by either speaking with the harasser directly or contacting the agency’s Human Resources Department. However, if escalating the matter to a supervisor does not stop the behavior or correct the situation, sexual harassment victims are entitled to seek legal help.
Seeking Legal Help
No one should have to suffer in a hostile work environment. If you or someone you know has been hurt physically or mentally by a sexual offender or is afraid to come forward out of embarrassment, guilty or fear, rest assured that you will be protected from any retaliation. Turn to a skilled sexual harassment lawyer in Florida right away to fight for your rights.
Sexual harassment attorneys work hard to protect victims against any current and future attacks. What many people fail to realize is that perpetrators generally do not cease their behaviors on their own accord unless something is done to stop them. With the help of a leading team of sexual harassment lawyers, not only will the unwelcome sexual advances, comments and behaviors stop, but any future harassment will also be prevented.
The victims of sexual harassment may also be entitled to a large compensation for their pain and suffering. Victims may receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages for being subjected to unwanted sexual comments, demands or attacks. Your sexual harassment attorney in Florida will do everything in their power to ensure that you obtain the full amount of benefits possible for your case.
Don’t wait until matters get worse or until it’s too late to seek help. Sexual harassment is illegal and is a direct violation of a person’s rights. If you or someone you know at work has been suffering due to someone’s unwelcome conduct, turn to a top sexual harassment lawyer right away for assistance.
Call today to set up a meeting with one of our top sexual harassment lawyers in Florida to defend your rights.