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Claims of harassment by people of the same sex now recognized

On Behalf of | Jul 28, 2021 | Sexual Harassment At Work

When there are allegations of sexual harassment in Florida, there might be an immediate assumption that it is a man harassing a woman. However, harassers can be of either sex. This has been a complex area of the law, but recent decisions have clarified it.

Supreme Court amends law and adds same-sex sexual harassment

The Supreme Court of the United States has made it possible for people to file claims if they were sexually harassed by people of the same sex. Previously, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 did not specify these types of cases. SCOTUS expanded on a case heard by an appeals court that would allow employees in the LGBTQ community to file a sexual harassment claim if it is committed by someone of the same sex.

An example is the case of a man who claimed he was verbally and physically abused by a superior and it stemmed from his sexual orientation. It was dismissed. On appeal, that was reversed. The prior interpretation of the law would not have allowed his case under Title VII since the harasser also needed to be a member of the LGBTQ community. That has changed. A remaining issue is the terminology where the word “sex” is used instead of “gender.” Still, this is a positive step for those in this situation who are considering filing an employment claim.

Those facing same-sex harassment should consider their options

People have the right to a harassment-free workplace. If there is this kind of mistreatment, it is imperative to know how to proceed. Now, people who were harassed by others of the same sex have alternatives. If this happens, it is useful to have guidance with pursuing a claim.