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February 2018 Archives

Help for employees: 3 different types of wrongful termination

Employment law attorneys understand that wrongful termination is a confusing concept. Some employer actions that do not seem wrongful are, in fact, illegal, while other behaviors that seem horrible are actually not against the law. If something felt amiss about your dismissal from your job, then you should speak to an attorney about whether you have a wrongful termination case on your hands.

OSC reminds federal agencies about new whistleblower laws

The protections afforded to federal workers in Florida and around the country who report fraud or other wrongdoing were strengthened when President Trump signed the Dr. Chris Kirkpatrick Whistleblower Protection Act and the Office of Special Counsel Reauthorization Act into law. The laws require disciplinary procedures to be revised and more thorough training to be provided about the consequences of whistleblower retaliation, and the OSC dispatched three memoranda to federal agencies on Feb. 1 to remind them about both their new and existing responsibilities.

Despite decline, harassment and retaliation cases increase

The number of Florida residents filing claims with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was down in fiscal year 2017 as compared to previous years. Sunshine State filings tracked national numbers that have been trending downwards since 2010 despite a slight bump last year from 2015 numbers. Fiscal year 2017, which ended in September, saw just 84,254 EEOC filings nationwide. In 2010, there were 99,922 filings. The EEOC is responsible for enforcing and administering federal civil rights laws in the majority of employment settings.

HR pros recognize need to increase sexual harassment training

Newly hired employees in Florida likely receive information about sexual harassment during their initial training and then hear about it very little after that. A survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management identified a lack of awareness among employees as a reason for not reporting sexual harassment. The survey questioned both human resource professionals and non-management employees. Although 94 percent of HR professionals knew about their employers' sexual harassment policies, 22 percent of rank-and-file employees did not know about the policies.

Florida works may not report workplace harassment

In 2017, the #MeToo movement shed light on the prevalence of workplace sexual harassment and the underlying pattern of victims' reluctance to report the behavior. Harassment may include inappropriate attention, unwanted sexual advances and lewd comments. According to a survey conducted by CareerBuilder, 12 percent of workers reported having experienced sexual harassment on the job. Of the respondents who indicated they had experienced workplace harassment, 72 percent did not report the situation to their employer. Of the workers who remained silent, 40 percent cited fear of being labeled a troublemaker as their reason. Many victims of workplace harassment fear wrongful termination and often believe filing a complaint will create a hostile work environment.

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