According to survey results presented at a Society for Vascular Surgery Vascular Annual Meeting, more than 40% of vascular surgeons reported experiencing sexual harassment at the workplace. The anonymous survey asked surgeons from health care facilities and training sites in Florida and other states whether they had experienced harassment of various forms. Nearly one in three of the respondents said they thought harassment was common in surgical specialties.
Workers experiencing discrimination in Florida need not file complaints first with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission prior to suing employers in federal court. In a rare unanimous decision from the Supreme Court of the United States, the justices ruled that the requirement in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act that compels people to complain first to the EEOC, or its equivalent state agency, did not automatically force federal courts to dismiss workplace discrimination cases that had not first sought relief through the EEOC.
Like most of your neighbors in Boca Raton, you must work to provide for yourself and your family. You may also derive both pleasure and confidence from your job. If you face sexual harassment at work, though, your otherwise enjoyable job may turn into a nightmare.
Florida employees who encounter workplace harassment based on race may be able to file a lawsuit against their employer. A 57-year-old man has done so against Boeing, alleging that he suffered racial harassment while working for the company in North Charleston, South Carolina.
Employers in Florida and throughout the country are generally not allowed to retaliate against workers who assert their legal rights in the workplace. However, it is still possible for a worker to be terminated, demoted or otherwise treated differently after engaging in a protected act. There are several different steps that workers can take if they believe that they have been treated in an unfair manner. The first step is to speak directly with the party acting in a potentially retaliatory manner.
Even LGBT workers in high-ranking executive positions in Florida can face discrimination or mistreatment on the job. This is illustrated in the case of one former Goldman Sachs vice president who is suing the financial firm after being fired by the investment bank. The former executive was a leader in the company's internal LGBT network and says that when he complained about discrimination in the workplace, he was targeted for retaliation and lost his job. Among other incidents, he said that he was excluded from a key conference call with a client because a supervisor said his voice "sounded too gay."
Employers in Florida are not required to pay employees who take time off under the provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act. However, the landmark 1993 law prohibits taking retaliatory action against them. When workers can establish that negative employment actions were connected in any way to FMLA leave, they may pursue civil remedies. A recent case involving these issues was recently decided in Michigan. It resulted in a nurse who had taken FMLA leave being awarded $30,513 in liquidated damages, back wages, interest and retirement contributions.
The only individual responsible for sexual harassment is the perpetrator, but everyone else has the power to protect one another. Bystanders can help victims be heard and safe. In a workplace setting, you can help your co-workers stand up to misconduct.
The #MeToo movement highlighted an often unseen reality of sexual harassment in the workplace: people can still be affected by harassment even if they hold high-ranking, prestigious jobs in the Florida entertainment industry, technology or medicine. For example, one study of gynecologic oncologists, who treat cancers of the female reproductive system, found that the majority of men and women had both been sexually harassed during their careers. A fellow in the specialty conducted the survey, reported at an annual event of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Florida employees should be aware that sexual harassment in the workplace is illegal. In fact, many workplaces have hotlines where sexual harassment can be reported. Even so, many employees, particularly women, avoid making reports due to how the reports can potentially impact their career.