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October 2019 Archives

Sexual harassment in the health care field

Florida women who work in health care may face a significant amount of gender discrimination and sexual harassment. According to MedScape, the gap in women's pay in that profession compared to men is, on average, $36,000 annually compared to $96,000. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine found in 2018 that as many as 50% of all women medical students face sexual harassment, and sexual harassment is three times more likely for them compared to women who work outside the STEM fields.

Do jokes count as sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment in the workplace can take numerous forms. It can involve outright requests for sexual favors or the sending of unwanted, sexually explicit pictures. Many individuals try to write off certain advances as merely "joking," but as outlined by the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, even jokes can count toward sexual harassment

An overview of racial discrimination at work

Florida employers may engage in both overt and subtle forms of racial discrimination. While such behavior is generally prohibited in the workplace, it can be difficult to detect it when it occurs. This is because there could be many reasons why a company decided to hire one person over another or promote one individual at the expense of another. However, there may be clues that an employer made a decision based on a person's race as opposed to an individual's qualifications.

Sexual orientation harassment facts

Harassment is not acceptable in any setting, and it can be especially offensive in the workplace. Many employees spend the majority of their waking hours at their jobs, and a hostile environment can make that time unpleasant.

Sexual harassment claims should be filed quickly

There are several reasons for a Florida worker to bring a sexual harassment claim sooner rather than later. The longer someone waits to report an instance of sexual harassment in the workplace, the more likely it is that others are being harassed in the interim. By reporting quickly after the event, the perpetrator may be forced to change his or her behavior before others can be harmed. Additionally, a long period of time between the harassing event and the report being filed can have negative effects on the claim.

Disabled man fired by Walmart wins discrimination case

Florida advocates for disabled people have reason to be encouraged after a jury sided with a disabled man who sued Walmart for terminating his employment because of his disabilities. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a suit against the company on his behalf for violating the Americans With Disabilities Act. The trial lasted three days and concluded with a jury award that ordered the employer to pay the man $200,000 in compensatory damages plus $5 million in punitive damages.

The steps that occur after an EEOC charge is filed

Florida employees may file discrimination charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). When the EEOC receives a charge, the first step is to notify the employer that this has happened. From there, an investigation will likely occur, and the type of investigation that occurs will depend largely on the strength of the evidence a worker presents. It may reveal that no wrongdoing occurred, which would result in the charge being dismissed.

Sexual harassment complaints may go unheard

While movements like #MeToo have drawn attention to the serious problem of workplace sexual harassment, too many workers find that they make complaints but see little action. Workers are often all too aware that the primary role of a human resources department is to protect the interests of the company rather than to ensure a safe, positive employment environment for all workers. Therefore, they may be hesitant to make a report about harassing behavior on the job, especially when the perpetrator is an executive, board member or other high-ranking official or employee. They may try to manage the problem on their own or avoid the harasser as much as possible.

Robert De Niro and former executive file lawsuits

Florida residents who follow celebrity news may be aware that Robert De Niro is embroiled in a legal battle with one of his Illinois-based film production company's former vice presidents. The woman, who resigned her position in April, claims that the 76-year-old actor acted inappropriately toward her and gave her demeaning tasks to perform. De Niro alleges that his former executive used her company credit card to pay personal expenses and spent hours each day binge-watching television shows instead of working.

Officials from 31 states urge McDonald's to fix harassment issue

On Sept. 26, local government officials from 31 states sent a letter to McDonald's Corp urging the company to improve sexual harassment protections for workers in Florida and across the country. The letter, which supports an employee-led campaign on the same issue, was sent by advocacy organization Local Progress.

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