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Sexual Harassment at Work Archives

Chipotle settles with male sexual harassment victim for $95,000

Customers of Chipotle restaurants in Florida have no way to know what might be going on among the employees unless someone makes a public complaint. Such was the case when a 22-year-old man employed as a shift manager at one restaurant accused his general manager of sexual harassment. After being ignored by upper management, he reported his workplace abuse to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the fast food chain has now settled with him for $95,000 and agreed to strengthen company policies.

Fox host Britt McHenry files sexual harassment lawsuit

Florida fans of the Fox Nation host Britt McHenry may have wondered why she and Fox news contributor Tyrus, whose real name is George Murdoch, stopped appearing together on the program "Un-PC." On Dec. 10, McHenry filed a lawsuit against Murdoch and the network for retaliation, sexual harassment and gender discrimination. The lawsuit also names several executives.

Sexual harassment common in legal industry

The results of an international study indicate that sexual harassment is prevalent in the legal profession. The survey, which was an effort of the International Bar Association, included responses from nearly 7,000 individuals. Both attorneys and non-attorneys were asked about bullying and sexual harassment in their workplaces. Just over 36% of the surveyed women said they'd been victimized by sexual harassment in workplaces. Employers in Florida are required by law to provide a safe environment for their workers, and harassing behavior on the part of superiors, co-workers, vendors or customers may give rise to actionable legal claims.

Documenting sexual harassment vital for filing a complaint

Employees in Florida subjected to sexual harassment need evidence to stand up for their rights. Documentation of ongoing behavior like lewd jokes, lower pay for the same work or even outright sexual assault could make the difference when trying to get an employer to acknowledge the problem.

Workers sue McDonald's over unchecked sexual harassment

Workers in Florida and elsewhere who are subjected to on-the-job sexual harassment are entitled to take legal action against their employers. For example, on Nov. 8, a group of Michigan workers filed a proposed class-action lawsuit against McDonald's Corp. after the company allegedly failed to protect them from harassment.

How to get employees to speak up

It has been traditionally seen as difficult for Florida employees to speak out against inappropriate behavior at work. However, companies are increasingly likely to want their people to point out instances of theft, harassment or other bad acts in the workplace. Of course, it can be difficult for employees to feel confident in addressing what they have seen or experienced to their superiors. One way to overcome that is to have employees report abusive behavior in groups.

When to file sexual harassment charges

A victim of sexual harassment at work in Florida may file a claim against their employer. However, there are certain statute of limitations rules to keep in mind. Someone who works for the federal government must generally file a claim with an EEO counselor within 45 days of the harassment occurring. Furthermore, the complaint must be filed within 15 days of notified by an EEO counselor about the filing process. Those who work for a private employer could have up to 300 days to make a sexual harassment claim.

Sexual harassment in the health care field

Florida women who work in health care may face a significant amount of gender discrimination and sexual harassment. According to MedScape, the gap in women's pay in that profession compared to men is, on average, $36,000 annually compared to $96,000. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine found in 2018 that as many as 50% of all women medical students face sexual harassment, and sexual harassment is three times more likely for them compared to women who work outside the STEM fields.

Sexual harassment claims should be filed quickly

There are several reasons for a Florida worker to bring a sexual harassment claim sooner rather than later. The longer someone waits to report an instance of sexual harassment in the workplace, the more likely it is that others are being harassed in the interim. By reporting quickly after the event, the perpetrator may be forced to change his or her behavior before others can be harmed. Additionally, a long period of time between the harassing event and the report being filed can have negative effects on the claim.

Sexual harassment complaints may go unheard

While movements like #MeToo have drawn attention to the serious problem of workplace sexual harassment, too many workers find that they make complaints but see little action. Workers are often all too aware that the primary role of a human resources department is to protect the interests of the company rather than to ensure a safe, positive employment environment for all workers. Therefore, they may be hesitant to make a report about harassing behavior on the job, especially when the perpetrator is an executive, board member or other high-ranking official or employee. They may try to manage the problem on their own or avoid the harasser as much as possible.

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