Employees in Florida are allowed to make complaints about harassment in the workplace. In response, employers are not allowed to retaliate or take any steps that could be seen as retaliation. For example, if a manager moves an employee to a different office after making a complaint, that could be seen as retaliation. This is true because the person reporting the transgression was negatively impacted as opposed to the alleged perpetrator.
Therefore, moving that individual to another office or putting that person on leave will likely not be seen as anything other than trying to remedy a problem. There are several ways that employers can guard themselves against a claim of retaliation. For example, they can create a written policy that clearly outlines what retaliation is and how to avoid it. Any allegation of harassment at work should be kept confidential yet taken seriously at the same time.
When a complaint is made, employees should know that it will have no bearing on their future with the organization. Furthermore, the focus of an investigation should be on the person who acted in a harassing manner as opposed to the victim of the harassment. Finally, records should be kept from the moment that an investigation begins until it is concluded. These records can be used if an employee makes an allegation of retaliation in the future.
Employees who have been victims of workplace harassment or retaliation may have options to protect their rights. An attorney could help with a legal challenge or take part in settlement talks to resolve the matter outside of court. A legal professional may use the lack of a written policy or other evidence as leverage to obtain a favorable outcome in the matter.