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.
Sexual harassment is prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Department of Labor recognizes two forms of sexual harassment, and they are quid pro quo and hostile work environment. Quid pro quo occurs when an employee is required to submit to sexual harassment in order to get a promotion, an assignment or even keep his or her job. A hostile work environment, on the other hand, occurs when incidents of sexual harassment make a workplace intimidating or abusive.
Those who experience sexual harassment at their workplace should tell the harasser that the behavior is not welcome. If the harassment continues, victims may need to report the incidents to their direct manager or employer. If the employer refuses to stop the harassment, employees can file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Those who are subjected to unwanted sexual comments or unwanted touching, who are being constantly asked about their sex life or who are receiving suggestive email or text messages may have legal options if the employer refuses to stop the harassment. If an employee reports incidents of sexual harassment and is punished or even fired for making the report, a Boca Raton attorney may be of assistance in taking the legal steps necessary to obtain damages.