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What small businesses should know about sexual harassment

Florida workplaces have the obligation of ensuring their employees are able to do their jobs in environments that are safe and free from certain types of mistreatment. Despite both federal and state laws that prohibit sexual harassment in the workplace, it still happens, and victims suffer both mental and emotional harm as a result. Consequently, it's important for small businesses to know how to recognize and address this type of reprehensible behavior.

Not only is it illegal to discriminate on the basis of someone's gender, it is illegal to sexually harass someone in any form, in any type of workplace. Businesses should recognize that sexual harassment does not always involve a man against a woman, but it can be a woman harassing a man. It can also count as harassment when it involves two people of the same gender.

Harassment can come from the employer, a supervisor, a manager or any person who is in a position of leadership in a Florida company. It can also happen from co-worker to co-worker. It is within the rights of a victim to report sexual misconduct, even if it did not cause physical harm or economic damage. 

Sexual harassment in the workplace is unacceptable, and it is grounds to move forward with a civil claim. Through this option for legal recourse, a victim is able to seek appropriate compensation for what he or she experienced. It can be daunting to speak out about experiencing this type of mistreatment, but a victim does not have to suffer alone out of fear or intimidation. 

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