When employees are at work, they should not experience inappropriate sexual contact of any kind from co-workers or customers. Unfortunately, sexual harassment is a problem for many Florida employees, even during a time when there are limits to the number of people in one place at a time and social distancing requirements. Some workers say they are actually experiencing more harassing behavior in these current circumstances than they were previously.
The workers who are the victims of workplace sexual harassment on a more frequent basis are those considered essential. These are the men and women who do not have the option to work from home because they are employed in positions such as restaurant workers, store clerks and more. These workers may have to ask visitors and customers to follow health and safety protocols, something that may trigger violent or aggressive behavior directed at the employee.
Tipped workers also state they are less likely to get tips for their service if they have to ask customers to follow the rules. One study found that around 41% of all workers state they have noticed an increase in the frequency of unwanted advances and sexual comments at work. This can range from subtle comments to attempts to physically touch the employee.
Florida employers should do everything possible to shield workers from sexual harassment, including from customers. When there are reports of this behavior happening, the only appropriate response from an employer is quick and decisive action. When this issue is not handled properly and an employee suffers, it could be grounds for legal action.