In many workplaces across Florida, the conversation around the office water cooler has recently been focused on the ongoing spat of sexual harassment allegations involving prominent executives and politicians. In most of these situations, unwanted sexual advances, lewd comments and more serious instances of harassment have taken place in workplace environments, and they went unspoken for many years.
Many employees in Florida who have disabilities may not report those disabilities to their human resource departments. Researchers at the Center for Talent Innovation surveyed more than 3,500 white-collar employees and found that almost one-third of full-time, college-educated workers had disabilities. Nearly two-thirds of those disabilities are invisible. However, just over 20 percent of people with disabilities identified themselves to human resources, and only 39 percent told their managers.
Although sexual harassment is illegal in workplaces in Florida and around the country, it is not uncommon. For example, a 2015 Cosmopolitan survey with more than 2,230 female participants found that 1 in 3 women reported experiencing sexual harassment at work at least once in their lives. Even though it is prevalent, some individuals may not be aware of what sexual harassment actually is.
Florida has laws in place to ensure employees who do not receive an annual salary receive overtime when due. In Florida, overtime comes into effect when an employee works more than 40 hours in a single week, which counts as seven consecutive days.
Florida should tread carefully when made aware of criminal accusations against an employee, especially when it involves co-workers. Taking a side could inflict a hostile work environment on one or more employees. A federal appeals court has sent a case illustrating this situation back to the trial court that originally heard the matter.
Very few employers openly maintain racially discriminatory policies on the books. Most have adapted to the demands of the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972 and strive towards a workplace free from racism. Unfortunately, however, this law did not singlehandedly solve racism on the job. Discrimination simply takes on more insidious forms and hides behind pretenses of professionalism.
On Sept. 28, the EEOC filed a lawsuit against Home Depot on behalf of an employee it says was terminated after an emergency related to a disability. As a general rule, employers in Florida and around the country must reasonably accommodate workers who have a disability. According to the EEOC lawsuit, Home Depot failed to accommodate a disabled woman before terminating her. She suffered from IBS and fibromyalgia.
Does your boss ever ask you to work off the clock? If so, you might not be getting the pay you actually deserve. This tactic is used by some business owners and managers to save money and cheat workers out of their rightful wages. You might be ambitious and want to be a team player, or maybe you want to avoid conflict, but you should be wary if your supervisor requests you to work without payment or proper compensation for overtime.