Florida employees who experience sexual harassment and other types of mistreatment in the workplace have the right to file complaints and take action. Employers have the responsibility to take complaints seriously and follow the appropriate procedures to handle these matters promptly. There is evidence to suggest this does not always happen in the Army Reserve, which has led to the development of a hostile work environment in some units.
The U.S. Army Reserve recently suspended a unit commander while investigating alleged sexual harassment in the workplace and retaliation. There are accusations that the commander mishandled complaints of sexual misconduct by doing internal investigations instead of referring the complaints to criminal investigators. There is also a report that the whistleblower experienced retaliation after bringing the issue to the attention of Army Reserve authorities.
The unit commanders went months without holding a training on harassment, despite the requirement of having one monthly. After reporting harassment, one victim was made to be on a firing range with her harasser, which caused her to fear for her safety. She believes this was in retaliation for reporting misconduct in the unit. She also says the commanders ignored her complaints, and victims do not trust their commanders to handle their concerns properly.
Reporting sexual harassment is the right step for victims, but unfortunately, some may find they also suffer because of a hostile work environment. A Florida employer may not take harassment claims seriously, instead choosing to act in retaliation against the person who reported it. This is why many victims will find it beneficial to work with a legal ally who will advocate for their interests and tenaciously defend their rights.