Unwelcome sexual advances at work are not only uncomfortable for an employee, but they’re also illegal. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Florida Civil Rights Act, sexual advances of any kind that interfere with a person doing their job, or that create an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment can create a situation that will put an employer at risk of having charges filed against them. They can be sued for monetary losses, including pain and suffering and punitive damages, which can be considerable.
The Law Offices of Randy Fleischer is well versed in Title VII law and has worked with numerous clients to protect them from the injustices of sexual harassment.
While Title VII and the FCRA applies to employers with 15 or more employees, the Broward County discrimination ordinance provides protection of employees of employers of five or more employees. Before an employee can file a lawsuit seeking damages, they must first file a complaint with the EEOC, which is the agency that enforces Title VII. After an investigation, and if no settlement is made, then an employee can work with an attorney such as Mr. Fleischer to initiate a lawsuit.
When first assessing a case, Mr. Fleischer will need to determine what kind of sexual harassment took place. This will either be a quid pro quo form of harassment or a hostile work environment.
Quid pro quo harassment happens when a person in authority demands that employees tolerate sexual harassment as a condition of continued employment, getting a promotion, or a raise.
A hostile work environment exists when there are unwelcome sexual advances that are severe enough to create an abusive or an offensive workplace.
Mr. Fleischer will also need to determine liability. Sometimes that falls on a particular employee, but other times, a business owner can be held liable. Much of this depends on whether or not an employer knew about the situation, whether or not strong anti-harassment policies were in place, and whether or not they took steps to remedy the situation.
The Law Offices of Randy A. Fleischer, P.A. proudly serves Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Davie, Sunrise, Plantation, Weston and surrounding Florida communities. For an initial consultation contact us at 954-472-8401.