A Florida employer does not have to be directly involved in sexual harassment in the workplace or be an instigator, but he or she is responsible for its implications. A hostile work environment can include behaviors such as inappropriate jokes, unwanted advances and any type of sexual harassment. It is recurring negative behavior that eventually makes it emotionally, psychologically and physically stressful for the victim to do his or her job.
Employers must address reports of sexual harassment immediately and decisively, putting an end to any hostility or inappropriate treatment. Additionally, employers cannot act in a hostile manner toward those who report sexual harassment. Any type of retaliation, either direct or more subtle, is unacceptable and grounds for legal action against the employer.
In some cases, a hostile work environment includes actions that make an employee feel like he or she needs to quit. This may be because the harassment won’t stop after reporting it or passive aggressive actions from the employer make the victim uncomfortable. Employees who feel like they are working in an environment that is hostile or believe they are victims of sexual harassment may find it helpful to carefully document everything they experience.
It may also be helpful to speak with an experienced employment law attorney about the legal options available. Victims of sexual harassment or those forced to endure a hostile work environment could have cause for action under Florida law. An assessment of the case can identify how a victim can seek appropriate damages and hold his or her employer accountable for what happened.