Sexual harassment in the workplace is a real problem in Florida just like in other states. This issue has been put in the spotlight thanks to social media campaigns and movements such as #metoo and Time’s Up. Sadly because of the fear, shame, and the serious implications of a sexual harassment allegation, victims keep quiet and do not report their abusers. These abusers can be employers or other high rank employees in the workplace. Victims of sexual harassment can sue a coworker or employer for sexual assault or sexual harassment violations and get compensated.
What Is Workplace Sexual Harassment
Workplace sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual advances or activity of a sexual nature that affects someone’s work performance and creates a hostile work environment. This is the definition provided by the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC).These unwelcome activities or actions include inappropriate touching, posting offensive material on a bulletin board, persistent offensive sexual jokes and more.
The two types of sexual harassment include quid pro quo and hostile work environment. If the harassment involves a person in authority demanding sexual favors from subordinates as a condition of keeping or getting a job, then that falls under quid pro quo harassment. A hostile work environment involves unwelcome conduct that pervasive, based on sex and affects the productivity of an employee.
What To Do To Stop Sexual Harassment And Begin Litigation
You will need an effective plan of action to stop the harassment and begin the process of litigation. You should do the following:
- File a complaint at work: You need to file a formal complaint with your company’s HR department or report it to your supervisor. If your supervisor is the one harassing you, report to a higher up in your company. You have to make them aware of what is happening because you can use this at a later litigation.
- Record Everything: You should record dates, locations, and times of the harassment. You should also record the efforts you have made to report the harassment and who you reported to.
- Report to the EEOC: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) can investigate your allegations if your report to them. You may also report sexual harassment to the Florida Commission on Human Relations
- Litigation: You can start the process of filing a civil lawsuit against your harasser once you have been issued a Notice of Right to Sue. Damages can be recovered from such a case.
Stopping The Harassment
Before reporting the harassment there are strategies you can employ to stop the harassment. You should make it clear to the harasser that their actions are offensive and that they should stop. Harassers often start with inappropriate jokes or comments that turn into ugly offensive acts if you do not nip it in the bud. You can make the individual know that you want the offensive comments to stop through short letters, or emails. Just ask your supervisor to do this if you are not comfortable doing it yourself. If it is your employer, know that it is against the law for your employer to retaliate because you asked them to stop their unwelcome behavior.