Florida Sexual Harassment Lawyers
Sexual harassment on the job is against the law. Any unwanted sexual advance or conduct that interferes with a person’s work performance, is used as a condition of employment, or is used for making a personnel decision such as getting a raise or promotion can be considered sexual harassment. The most common form of sexual harassment is where the victim’s experience is a “tangible employment action” taken against them which means that they were promoted, demoted, given a raise or not given a raise as a result of the sexual harassment. Sexual harassment can be from customers, union representatives, or members, co-workers and supervisors. Also, there can be sexual harassment between individuals of the same sex.
It is not always necessary to show that the sexual harassment has tangible consequences. For example, a violation may occur when the conduct substantially interferes with an individual’s work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment. Teasing and off-hand comments, or isolated incidents which are infrequent, are typically not considered sexual harassment.
Sexual Harassment Policy
Employers should have a sexual harassment policy. Typically these policies and procedures should be in writing and given to each employee. It is crucial for an employee who believes he or she has been the subject of sexual harassment to make a complaint, in writing, to their supervisor or human resources director. The law requires that the employer conduct a investigation which often means that the employer will speak to the victim, the person who allegedly sexually harassed the victim, as well as to other co-employees. After the investigation is concluded, if there has been sexual harassment, the employer must take remedial action against the harasser which could result in termination, counseling, or education courses. The harasser may be reassigned. The employers should also discuss the findings of the investigation with the victim and explain to the victim what the employer has done so that this activity will not happen in the future.
Sexual Harassment Victims
An employee who believes he or she is a victim of sexual harassment must file a charge with the EEOC within 180 days of the last date of the alleged harassment. The deadline to file a charge with the EEOC is not extended because an employer is investigating the complaint. It is critical for the victim of sexual harassment to maintain copies of the complaints made to the employer as well as notes from any meeting with the employer or human resources department. Emails and text messages are vital evidence in many of these cases. In order to be eligible to file a charge with the EEOC, a victim must be employed by an employer that has at least 15 employees.
If you feel you have been a victim of sexual harassment at your workplace contact us to schedule an initial consultation. No employee should be subject to such conduct at their place of work. It would be our privilege to take your call.