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Boca Raton Employment Law Blog

Florida employees with disabilities have rights

Disabled individuals in the workplace have certain rights. When employers do not acknowledge their rights or violate them in some way, it is a serious violation of federal laws, specifically the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you are a disabled individual, it is in your interests to understand your rights in the workplace and what you can do to fight back if you are experiencing problems. 

Disability discrimination happens when an employer or co-worker violates specific rights held by those protected by the ADA. This can happen in many different ways, and victims may feel unable to speak out about what they experienced out of fear of retaliation or embarrassment. If you believe you experienced this type of discrimination, you do not have to suffer silently. There are options available to you that will allow you to hold liable parties accountable.

Women are not the only victims of sexual harassment at work

Every Florida employee should be able to show up to his or her place of work free from the fear of experiencing negative or inappropriate treatment. Unfortunately, that is not the reality for many workers. Despite both state and federal laws that prohibit any type of harassment at work, sexual harassment is still a problem in many types of workplaces. 

Women are often victims of sexual harassment, but men are victims of this type of treatment more often than you may think. Because of the stigma often associated with sexual harassment, men frequently feel too uncomfortable to speak out when they experience this type of treatment. When victims cannot speak out, they cannot seek justice or seek to hold liable parties accountable for the pain and suffering they experienced.

Diversity and confronting race discrimination in the workplace

Despite state laws, federal mandates and an awareness about the importance of diversity in the workplace, all workers do not receive equal treatment at work. Race discrimination is a problem for many Florida employees, and diversity is only one way to confront it. Misconceptions about what diversity is and how it's important can impact how effective these measures are.

There has been an increase in workplace diversity over the last several years, but there is still a long way to go. Most people wrongly assume that one or two hires or a few steps is enough to address this issue and mark it off the list. It is also a common misconception to assume that diversity is only about who a company hires. In reality, diversity is a more complex issue than that, and it's not always about race.

Allegations of FMLA discrimination against home decor company

Florida employees have the right to speak out when they experience unfair treatment in their workplaces. Women who are pregnant or need time away from work for family-related needs could find that their employers act in a discriminatory manner toward them for taking rightful time off per the Family and Medical Leave Act. FMLA discrimination is a real problem, and it could be grounds to take legal action against an employer. 

One Kings Lane, an online retail website, is facing accusations of violating the rights of pregnant employees. Workers have filed a lawsuit against the company, claiming the company decided to furlough them just weeks before they were scheduled to go on maternity leave. The retailer stated these furloughs were the result of downsizing due to lower sales and economic challenges.

Employees have the right to take FMLA leave without fear

There are federal laws in place that protect the interests of workers who need time off from work for needs related to their families or medical care. The Family and Medical Leave Act allows employees to take time away from their jobs when necessary for serious family events, such as the birth of a child, or medical needs, such as caring for an immediate family member with cancer. Florida employees should be able to take FMLA leave without fear of recrimination from employers.

Employers have established procedures regarding how they can request this type of leave, but employers cannot prevent them from taking it or retaliate against them. The FMLA allows employees to have up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off from work without losing their job. While employees are away, their employers may have to rearrange schedules and find temp workers. Employers may not want to do this, and they may act aggressively or inappropriately toward those who take FMLA leave.

Sexual harassment remains a problem for women in tech

Women in various fields have experienced inappropriate treatment at work. The recent #MeToo movement shed light on how prevalent the issue of sexual harassment is in many different types of workplaces in Florida and across the country, including the tech industry. Female employees in this specific type of employment area say they are still experiencing sexual harassment in their workplaces and in situations related to their jobs. 

Statistics indicate that as many as 48% of women in the tech industry have experienced harassment at work. Of those women, 43% say that what they experienced was sexual harassment, even receiving propositions from co-workers and employers for sex. Some received promises of promotions in exchange for sexual favors. Many of them state they experienced this within the last year, around two years after the #MeToo movement began.

Employers are responsible for development of a hostile workplace

A Florida employer does not have to be directly involved in sexual harassment in the workplace or be an instigator, but he or she is responsible for its implications. A hostile work environment can include behaviors such as inappropriate jokes, unwanted advances and any type of sexual harassment. It is recurring negative behavior that eventually makes it emotionally, psychologically and physically stressful for the victim to do his or her job.

Employers must address reports of sexual harassment immediately and decisively, putting an end to any hostility or inappropriate treatment. Additionally, employers cannot act in a hostile manner toward those who report sexual harassment. Any type of retaliation, either direct or more subtle, is unacceptable and grounds for legal action against the employer.

Suicide risk higher for workers who experience sexual harassment

There are certain types of behaviors that have no place in a Florida work environment. Not only are things like discrimination and sexual harassment inappropriate, they can also have devastating consequences for victims. A recent study found that individuals who are exposed to sexual harassment in their place of work are more likely to consider or attempt suicide. This is a grave problem, and it is one employers should take seriously.

It is well known that the effects of workplace sexual harassment can be detrimental for a victim. For example, victims of this are more likely to call in sick, experience negative mental health impacts and suffer from physical sickness. However, a recent study actually took a closer look at this type of treatment and how it could influence suicidal thoughts and tendencies. The final conclusion was a clear link between victims of harassment at work and a higher chance of self-harm.

A close look at workplace discrimination

Every Florida employee has the right to work in an environment that is free from harassment and any type of discriminatory treatment. Unfortunately, many employees experience different types of discrimination at work despite both state and federal laws against it. Victims are often unsure of how to react to this, and they may not speak out due to fear of retaliation or disbelief.

If you are a victim of discrimination in your workplace, you do not have to navigate this complicated matter alone. You have the right to speak out about what you have experienced and seek to hold liable parties accountable. In some cases, those subjected to discriminatory behaviors at work could have grounds to pursue damages through a civil claim.

Sexual harassment has serious health and safety implications

Women may be subjected to unfair and discriminatory treatment of a sexual nature in their Florida workplaces. Sexual harassment makes it difficult for a victim to do her job, especially when working in a male-dominated environment, such as a branch of the United States military. To fight sexual harassment and lower the chance of it happening at any level, the Navy is looking at ways to stop it before this behavior even begins. 

The way Navy leaders intend to do this is by addressing behaviors that fall into more of a gray area rather than blatant sexual harassment. This may include subtle yet suggestive comments, winking, brushing a hand up against another person, standing too close and more. While these are sexually suggestive behaviors, many don't consider them to be harassment, and victims may be unsure if they should speak out.

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