Key West Employment Discrimination Lawyers Discuss Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Strong advocates for the rights of workers throughout South Florida

Employment discrimination in any form adds stress and worry to an already challenging work environment. We all want to do our best work, be recognized for our contributions and achievements, and to be promoted based on the merits of our work. No one wants to deal with unwanted sexual advances at work, or to feel pressured or intimidated by a supervisor or manager that holds the power to fire you. Fortunately, Florida law and federal law includes strong protections for employees from sexual harassment at work. If you have been experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace, you do not need to suffer without speaking up and acting to put an end to it.

At the Yeboah Law Group, we are here to protect our clients’ right to do their job without the scourge of sexual harassment. We listen to your story and consider your goals as we determine whether it is more appropriate to settle or take your case to trial. If you are experiencing retaliation because your reported sexual harassment, our experienced Key West employment discrimination attorneys can assert your right to be free from retaliation and we can pursue the appropriate compensatory and/ or punitive actions against the responsible party on your behalf.

What does sexual harassment look like?

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines sexual harassment as, “Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.”

  • The victim of sexual harassment is not always a woman and they do not have to be of the opposite sex
  • The harasser does not need to be the victim’s boss, rather it can be a co-worker, a supervisor in another department or a non-employee
  • The victim is not always the person being harassed, but it could be anyone affected by the offensive conduct
  • Unlawful sexual harassment may occur without economic injury or lead to discharge of the victim
  • The harasser’s conduct must be unwelcome

(EEOC)

What is the difference between sexual harassment and sex or gender discrimination?

While they may sound similar, sexual harassment and sex discrimination have two separate legal definitions. The EEOC’s definition of sexual harassment includes unwanted sexual advances, sexual remarks, requests, non-consensual touching, the display of sexually-explicit images in full view and other sexual situations in the workplace. The two main categories of sexual harassment in the workplace include: quid pro quo, which is a Latin expression, which means something for something. In quid pro quo harassment, the victim is being pressured to give in to sexual demands in exchange for keeping their job or they may face the negative consequences of losing their job, or losing a promotion if they refuse to comply.

The second category of workplace sexual harassment is hostile environment, which includes unwelcomed sexual harassment which affected a term, condition or privilege of employment. The employer must have been aware of the situation and failed to take the necessary action to end it, they may have taken ineffective action, or even contributed to making the situation worse.

Title VII of the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin.

Section 760.10 of the Florida Statutes prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap or marital status.

The Florida Statutes define sexual harassment as a form of discrimination which will be defined in a manner consistent with the federal definition. (Section 110.1221, Florida Statutes)

Adverse employment actions after sexual harassment allegations

Any kind of adverse employment action taken in retaliation for an employee who has reported sexual harassment allegations is against the law. The EEO laws prohibit employers from retaliating against employees for asserting their rights to be free form employment discrimination including harassment. Asserting your rights is a “protected activity” under the EEO.

If you believe that you are being retaliated against because you reported sexual harassment to your employer, or because you filed a complaint with the EEOC, you may want to contact an experienced Key West employment discrimination attorney to be your strong advocate as you assert your rights.

Getting help from a skilled Key West sexual harassment lawyer

If you have been facing sexual harassment at work and you are ready to get help in ending it, an employment discrimination attorney from the Yeboah Law Group is ready to listen to your story. We will review your case, investigate your allegations and help you file formal complaints your employer, with the Florida Commission on Human Relations, and with the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and we can make sure that if the behavior rises to the level of criminal conduct, that the responsible party is held accountable for their actions.

Schedule a consultation with an experienced Key West employment discrimination attorney today

When your right to work in an environment free from discrimination has been violated, the skilled Key West employment discrimination attorneys at the Yeboah Law Group will affirm your rights and protections under the law. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case. You are welcome to call us at 1-800-TELL-SAM or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation.

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