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If you have a claim against an employer or coworker, I will fight your case.
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What Is Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment is a subclass of sex discrimination prohibited by laws such as Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992. Sexual harassment in the workplace can be from a supervisor, co-worker, client, or customer of the employer. Anyone can be a victim of workplace sexual harassment. Likewise, sexual harassment can transpire between men, women, men and women, or several different people of the same or different sexes.
Occasional teasing, isolated incidents, and offhand comments are not sexual harassment per se. But they are illegal when they occur so frequently or are so severe that they result in a hostile or offensive working environment or an unfavorable employment decision.
What Types of Sexual Harassment Happen in the Workplace?
Workplace sexual harassment comes in two forms, “quid pro quo” harassment and “hostile work” environment. Quid pro quo harassment is when a term of a worker’s employment hinges on that worker’s acquiescence to unwelcome sexual advances. A hostile work environment is when employees experience unwanted and offensive behavior. Examples of both include, but are not limited to:
- A boss or manager threatening an employee’s termination if that employee refuses to submit to their sexual advances;
- A boss or manager threatening to ruin an employee’s life if that employee refuses to submit to their sexual advances;
- A boss or manager promising work shifts, raises, or promotions in exchange for an employee’s sexual favors;
- Exposure to pornography at work;
- Inappropriate remarks about an employee’s body;
- Being kissed, hugged, or touched without consent;
- Being called gender, gender identity, or sexual identity-based slurs;
- Receiving graphic text messages; and
- Being whistled at or stared at lewdly.
Any form of sexual harassment is serious. If you experienced sexual harassment at work, a Florida workplace sexual harassment attorney at Brenton Legal is waiting to review your case. Like you, we believe sexual harassment is unacceptable and are here to help you hold your employer accountable.
What Should I Do If I Was Sexually Harassed at Work?
Speak With an Attorney
A Florida sexual harassment attorney can review your evidence and case facts, interview other employees, and help you file a solid complaint. They can also file a lawsuit and represent you regarding the harassment. If you need an advocate in Florida, the workplace sexual harassment legal team of Brenton Legal can answer your pressing questions, explain your options, and work with you to file the proper claim.
File a Report with Your Employer
Even if you only suspect you were sexually harassed on the job, it’s crucial to determine whether your employer has a sexual harassment complaint policy. Your employee handbook is a good place to look first. Follow your employer’s reporting procedures. Be sure to write your complaint and send it in a way that allows you to provide proof of its delivery, for instance, via email. Retaining a copy will also benefit you if your employer retaliates because you reported the harassment.
File a Report with the EEOC or FCHR
File a complaint against your employer with the Florida Commission on Human Relations (FCHR), which enforces state laws prohibiting sexual harassment, or with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Victims of sexual harassment must file discrimination charges with either the EEOC within 300 days of the last discriminatory incident or the FCHR within 365 days of the last discriminatory incident. Generally, timely filing with either agency is the equivalent of filing with both agencies and will preserve your rights under federal and state law. You will forfeit your claim if you fail to file within the allowed timeframe.
File a Civil Lawsuit in State or Federal Court
If the FCHR finds reasonable cause to believe that your employer violated the law, you will have one year from the ruling to file suit under state law. If the FCHR doesn’t find reasonable cause and concludes its investigation within 180 days, you must request an administrative hearing within thirty days to preserve your rights under state law or you have four years from the last discriminatory incident to file suit under state law. Under both scenarios, you have ninety days to pursue a federal claim after FCHR dismissal.
Brenton Legal: Experience You Can Count On
If you’ve experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, the Florida law firm of Brenton Legal can help you achieve justice. Our years in practice have taught us to employ effective solutions to address complex sexual harassment matters. We also understand that reliving painful events throughout your case can be distressing. So you can rest assured knowing we pride ourselves on providing every client with a compassionate, calm environment while we fight for a resolution. Call us at 954-639-4644 for a free consultation. We’re here for you 24/7.
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