One of the most important roles of an employer is to protect the rights and interests of the employees. This means reducing physical hazards that could cause them harm, but also making sure they don't experience mistreatment while at work. Sexual harassment in the workplace is not only illegal and unacceptable, it can also cause emotional and mental duress. There are steps Florida contracting businesses can take to train workers on how to recognize, prevent and avoid this type of behavior.
Florida workplaces have the obligation of ensuring their employees are able to do their jobs in environments that are safe and free from certain types of mistreatment. Despite both federal and state laws that prohibit sexual harassment in the workplace, it still happens, and victims suffer both mental and emotional harm as a result. Consequently, it's important for small businesses to know how to recognize and address this type of reprehensible behavior.
People in Florida might be interested to learn that Time's Up has called out the Trump Administration for failing to include sexual harassment guidelines on the portal of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The guidance about sexual harassment was initially written during the Obama Administration, but its publication has been delayed since that time.
In Florida and across the nation, steps to prevent sexual harassment at work has ramped up in recent years. Still, despite increased vigilance, there are instances where people continue to behave in certain ways that might have been allowed to slide in years past, but now constitute a viable foundation for a legal filing to be compensated. One such case involves a prominent political commentator.
In fiscal year 2019, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said that it had received 72,675 workplace discrimination claims, many of which came from Florida. According to the EEOC data, retaliation was the most common charge. Claims involving racial discrimination and equal pay discrimination increased during the 2019 fiscal year. However, there was a drop in all other types of workplace discrimination charges received by the EEOC.
Many Florida women continue to deal with sexual harassment on the job, even in high-profile positions in entertainment, law or technology. The #MeToo movement has brought many of these cases to the forefront, but new sexual harassment issues continue to emerge on a daily basis. Many victims worry about reporting the harassment because, even though it is illegal, they are afraid that they will face retaliation. A high-ranking Hollywood executive is alleging that she was subjected to unlawful retaliation and employment discrimination after reporting sexual harassment by a prominent entertainment lawyer.
The Florida Commissioner of Education has recommended that the School District of Manatee County's general council be removed from his post for making inappropriate comments to his coworkers. The attorney has apologized for his comments and has agreed to take three courses dealing with workplace sensitivity and sexual harassment. The courses are expected to take place within a month.
Women in Florida who hold supervisory positions at work may be even more likely to experience sexual harassment than their subordinates. According to a study conducted by researchers at the Swedish Institute for Social Research at Stockholm University of women in Sweden, the United States and Japan, women were 30% to almost 100% more likely to be sexually harassed at work in positions that gave them more power. The numbers only reversed for women who were at the very top positions for their career.
Workers in Florida and throughout the country have the right to do their jobs without being subject to sexual or other forms of harassment. However, one woman said that she was terminated from her position at Wayfair after making a sexual harassment complaint. The employee said that her supervisor groped her and had asked her out on a date. After she denied his request, the supervisor allegedly said bad things about her to others at the company.
Many people in Florida have heard about the Times Up movement in Hollywood. Times Up Entertainment is a group that works to draw attention to sexual harassment in the entertainment industry. On Jan. 3, Times Up released a resource guide on sexual harassment that is especially geared toward helping actors who are auditioning for movies and filming scenes.