Some people in Florida may assume that all employees throughout the country are protected against sexual harassment by federal law, but this is not the case. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act only applies to employers who have at least 15 employees.
While the original intent of this loophole was to protect small businesses who might not be able to defend themselves against claims as well as larger companies could, it has gone on to leave many employees unprotected. In addition to people who work for small companies, farm workers and domestic employees, such as nannies, often lack protection. Title VII also does not apply to independent contractors, and in the growing gig economy, this could affect many people. Some companies even try to classify more employees as independent contractors to reduce their obligations toward those employees.
The workplace has changed a great deal since the original passage of Title VII, including making sexual harassment a form of discrimination. However, federal protections have not always kept up with those changes. On April 24, a group of female domestic and farm workers went to Capitol Hill for an Unstoppable Day of Action to increase awareness about and push for change to protect more workers.
Employees who are dealing with a Boca Raton hostile workplace because of harassment or another type of discrimination might want to talk to an attorney. An attorney might advise them regarding the federal protections that are available, whether the actions would be considered sexual harassment and how they should document the situation and proceed.