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Companies need to stop rumors from spreading

On Behalf of | Apr 1, 2019 | Sexual Harassment At Work

Florida employees could be the victims of a hostile workplace environment simply because a rumor was started about them. This is what the U.S. Court of Appeals held in Parker v. Reema Consulting Services, Inc. In that case, a woman was denied future promotions by her manager because she was supposedly a problem in the company. The supposed problem began after another employee started a rumor that the woman slept with a manager in exchange for a promotion.

The woman was later given warnings and then was terminated. The court concluded that while the woman experienced negative consequences, the man that she supposedly slept with did not. Furthermore, a male manager who had helped spread the rumor also was not negatively impacted by his behavior. Additionally, the court found that the company did nothing to stop the rumor from being spread and that it furthered a stereotype.

Therefore, if management in any organization learns of a rumor about an employee, the best decision is to investigate the matter. Ideally, the source of the rumor will be found and appropriate consequences will be handed to those involved with starting or spreading it. The subject of the rumor should not be denied a promotion or otherwise negatively impacted by it before, during and after the investigation takes place.

Workers in Boca Raton, Florida, may benefit from the help of an attorney when it comes to their employment law case. An attorney may be able to help a person determine what kind of evidence is relevant to the matter or whether it is possible to take a case to court. Employees who prevail may be entitled to compensation either from a jury or through a settlement.