Many women in Florida and across the country feel a sense of fear in their everyday lives associated with the potential for facing sexual harassment or assault. Even taking a walk or going for a jog could be a dangerous activity for a lone woman who catches the eye of an attacker. Though most people hope that their places of employment are safe and welcoming environments, that is not always the case.
You may be one of the many women who work in the service industry where sexual harassment runs rampant, or you may work in another industry where circumstances still put you at significant risk of facing inappropriate actions. Unfortunately, some employment positions do have higher rates of sexual harassment than others.
Are you at greater risk?
Though your main goal of the workday is likely to complete your designated tasks as needed and to do a good job, you may also have a goal in the back of your mind to make it through your shift without any uncomfortable incidents with co-workers, management, or even customers or clients. If you work under any of the following circumstances, you may face a higher chance of an inappropriate and possibly frightening encounter:
- Working alone: If you work as a janitor, hotel housekeeping worker, domestic caregiver, agricultural worker or any other type of worker who normally conducts her work alone, you could be at greater risk of sexual harassment because a harasser may worry less about witnesses.
- Significant differences in power: Though most companies have various positions of power, some have levels that show a substantial gap in the amount of power one person has compared to another. A person with a significant amount of power may feel above discipline and could abuse that power to harass someone in a lower-ranking position.
- Working for tips: Tipped work is not uncommon, and sadly, the sexual harassment of tipped workers is not uncommon either. Many women who work as restaurant servers or hotel housekeepers feel as if they have to contend with harassment in order to receive much-needed tips.
Many people working in these conditions worry about losing their jobs and income and often feel as if they have to keep quiet to avoid retaliation.
You have options
Though it may seem necessary to brush off sexual harassment in the workplace, it is an issue that needs addressing. If you file a complaint and are fired or otherwise unjustly disciplined, you may have reason to take legal action. Going over your situation with an experienced employment law attorney could help you better understand your options.