The #MeToo movement highlighted an often unseen reality of sexual harassment in the workplace: people can still be affected by harassment even if they hold high-ranking, prestigious jobs in the Florida entertainment industry, technology or medicine. For example, one study of gynecologic oncologists, who treat cancers of the female reproductive system, found that the majority of men and women had both been sexually harassed during their careers. A fellow in the specialty conducted the survey, reported at an annual event of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Florida employees should be aware that sexual harassment in the workplace is illegal. In fact, many workplaces have hotlines where sexual harassment can be reported. Even so, many employees, particularly women, avoid making reports due to how the reports can potentially impact their career.
The Florida Department of Financial Services placed the state's most senior banking regulator on administrative leave on May 10 while a sexual harassment claim filed by an employee of the DFS's Office of Financial Regulation is investigated. In the press statement announcing the move, the chief financial officer of Florida said that the Office of the Inspector General had been called in to conduct the investigation.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and courts nationwide are processing complaints and lawsuits from dozens of people who claim that they suffered sexual harassment while working at McDonald's. A Florida woman has joined the group of victims. On top of being the target of unwanted touching from a co-worker, who also aimed sexually explicit comments at her, the woman said that the co-worker asked to pay for sex with her 1-year-old daughter.
Florida women who work in the legal profession probably already know that sexual harassment is common in their field. In a recent survey conducted by the International Bar Association and Acritas, 36.6% of women and 7.4% of men claimed they had experienced sexual harassment while working in the profession. Furthermore, one in two women said that they experienced bullying in the profession while one in three men said they experienced bullying.
In 2018, the number of workplace discrimination complaints was down 9.3% compared to 2017. However, the number of sexual harassment complaints increased by 13.6% in that same time period. The increase in complaints is partially fueled by a willingness for employees in Florida and elsewhere to speak up in the wake of the #MeToo movement. While many of the complaints have been made by female employees, this is not always the case.
A process exists for workers in Florida to address sexual harassment. Victims do not have to accept that nothing can be done about the inappropriate behavior of co-workers or supervisors. To lay the groundwork for a complaint, a person should document the harassing behavior. A simple list with dates and descriptions of what happened could improve a person's ability to provide details when discussing the problem.
Florida employees who have faced sexual harassment in the workplace may be able to file a lawsuit against their employers if their harassment claims are not adequately addressed. This was the case with a former employee of the company Hologram USA, which produces holograms of deceased celebrities.
During the previous fiscal year, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received 7,609 complaints of sexual harassment in the workplace. This was a 13.6 percent increase over the previous year. However, workers in Florida and elsewhere filed 9.3 percent fewer complaints overall during the last fiscal year. The increase in sexual harassment claims is seen as a good thing by some because it means that individuals are feeling more confident about making their voices heard.
Florida residents who follow developments in the technology sector may be aware that more than 20 percent of Google's global workforce of more than 94,000 people walked off the job in November 2018 because they were unhappy about the way sexual harassment claims were being handled. Google responded to the walkout by vowing to review its internal policies and make changes where appropriate. The search giant announced on April 25 that its review was complete and many worker demands would be met.