Sexual harassment remains a pervasive concern in Florida workplaces. The abusive nature of sexual harassment could make the work environment so intolerable that the victim might quit. Persons suffering from sexual harassment-oriented conduct may not realize legal options exist. Once the workplace embodies a “hostile work environment,” taking steps to exercise those legal options might be necessary.
Understanding a hostile work environment
A “hostile work environment” could be when sexually offensive comments or behaviors harm a subordinate, co-worker, or another person in the office. The action might cause a victim to suffer emotional distress and be unable to perform his or her work duties.
“Behavior” may include inappropriate touching, outrageous comments, and other actions. When management ignores employee concerns about sexual harassment and hostile work environments, the employer may find itself liable.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines sexual harassment distinctly. Several federal laws address matters related to hostile work environments, and the Florida Civil Rights Act might do so, as well.
Taking action over a hostile work environment
Evidence of sexual harassment and a hostile work environment could prove helpful when filing a civil suit. Text messages and social media instant messages might reveal the inappropriate behavior an employee suffered. An attorney could review the evidence when discussing harassment and discrimination matters with a client.
An attorney could advise a client about possible actions to take when dealing with a hostile work environment. An attorney may even help if retaliatory action takes place. Retaliating against an employee who complains about sexual harassment could violate the law, as well.
Speaking with an attorney about sexual harassment and hostile work environments early on may prove beneficial. Taking action against an employer or another party without delays could lead to a swift resolution.