The Florida Sexual Harassment Guide was created by Serrano | McGuire to help residents who have been affected obtain maximum compensation for their claim.
With Offices in Tallahassee and Wesley Chapel
Being at work should be comfortable, professional, and productive. You cannot be those things if you feel uncomfortable and harassed. If you are a victim of sexual harassment, you deserve to take legal action. Our Florida sexual harassment lawyers can defend your rights. We can stand by you and fight for your justice. No one should have to face sexual harassment in the workplace. We take on the legal aspect of your claim so you can rest assured you’re being protected.
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Sexual harassment can mean a lot of things. Generally speaking, if you feel uncomfortable about the actions and behaviors of your coworkers or even bosses, you’re likely a victim of sexual harassment and you deserve justice. Employers can create a hostile work environment if they participate in it or if they see sexual harassment happening and do not attempt to correct the behavior and/or put pressure on the victim not to file a claim.
We understand that it can be intimidating to talk to your boss about sexual harassment, especially if you know that they are aware of the situation but have done nothing to help you. We encourage you to reach out to us if you’re experiencing unwanted advances, threats, and more. You deserve to be heard and have the law protect you and work for you.
Your claim is valid regardless of whether the perpetrator is a boss, a supervisor, an employee or someone who comes by and works in the mail room once in a while. If you feel uncomfortable and you feel harassed, you need to reach out to our Florida sexual harassment lawyers to hear what kind of legal action you should be taking.
What to do if You Were Sexually Harassed
Not only is sexual harassment wrong and unethical but it is also against the law. If you’re a victim of sexual harassment at your workplace, it can really affect you in a lot of ways. Sometimes, you’re afraid to speak up because you don’t want to lose your job. A lot of people experience a lot of negative effects in their personal lives if they’re a victim to this kind of stress. You might be feeling powerless right now and we want to help empower you through legal action. Far too many people go through what you have been going through and we want to make a stand to stop this type of behavior and get you your justice for having had to go through it. You are not alone in this fight. We care about you.
Since 1964, the Civil Rights Act through title VI has declared that sexual harassment is a type of discrimination. The Florida Civil Rights Act also protects you from sexual harassment on the basis of discrimination based on gender. What you need to do is make sure you have a claim filed with the EEOC within 300 days of your incident of sexual harassment or you can go to the FCHR, which stands for the Florida Commission on Human Relations within 365 days of the incident of sexual harassment.
If you bring your claim and you are successful with our Florida sexual harassment lawyers help, then you may be able to receive potential compensatory damages including punitive damages, back pay, and reinstatement.
Examples of Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is a term that covers a lot of ground. There’s a lot of things that can be construed as sexual-harassment and could warrant a claim. It’s absolutely unacceptable for a workplace to put you in a position that makes you feel uncomfortable. If there are jokes being made or unwanted physical contact, you may very well be eligible to bring a lawsuit against your workplace. Here are some examples of why you might need to file a sexual harassment lawsuit:
- You have been subject to sexual advances that are not welcome
- You have been asked to perform sexual favors
- You were threatened or bribed to give sexual favors
- People make lewd comments or sexual innuendos
- You are asked explicit questions about sex
- People make sounds and motions at your that are provocative or suggestive
- Being asked over and over to have sex or go out on dates
- You were inappropriately touched by a coworker, including tickling, groping or patting
- Someone has massaged you without being asked to
How You Should Prepare
If you were going to pursue a lawsuit, the first thing that you have to do is file your claim with the EEOC or your state agency in Florida. They are going to be able to tell you if you’re going to be able to prosecute and they will give you an allowance to continue on with your claim. We can guide you through that.
Employer Liability For Sexual Harassment
The other day, a client in Wesley Chapel asked us if, his employer could be held liable for a sexual harassment case. The answer is, yes. Ultimately, these cases hinge on employer liability and responsibility. If the person that is being harassed reports the pervasive patterns of harassment to their employer and the employer does nothing about it, that is the definition of employer liability in a sexual harassment or hostile work environment case.
If you think you’ve been the victim of sexual harassment, call us for a free consultation and we’ll evaluate your case.
Retaliation Against a Sexual Harassment Claim
We had a call recently to our Tallahassee office during which the client asked whether they had a case for what’s called “retaliation.” She wanted to know if her employer was allowed to retaliate against her because she had filed a claim for sexual harassment. The answer is, no, the employer is absolutely not allowed to retaliate. It doesn’t matter if the claims are ultimately proved to be unsubstantial; it doesn’t make a difference. They cannot retaliate against you.
As you may imagine, proving retaliation is difficult. There’s a temporal aspect to it. If you have a case where you filed a sexual harassment claim and three years later your employer exhibits conduct towards you, quite frankly, that’s probably not retaliation. If there’s a temporal aspect to it, where the retaliation or a pattern of practice occurs shortly after you file a claim, have a lawyer who is experienced in handling retaliatory discharge claims evaluate it for you. We can do that for you and we’d be glad to do so. Give us a call.
Unwanted Sexual Advances in The Workplace
We had a client in Tallahassee the other day call us about a case where she believed that she had been harassed. There were comments of a sexual nature that were made to her at the workplace, and her inquiry was, “Do I have a claim?” It depends. One or two isolated comments – and I don’t want to sound unsympathetic – are just probably not going to cut it, as far as a claim goes, but, certainly, if it’s happened once, it needs to be reported to the employer.
Call us for a free consultation. We offer free consultations for sexual harassment claims. Even though one or two comments here and there may not amount to a claim, over time, if there’s a persistent pattern that continues to occur and especially if it involves one individual, make sure you supervisor knows and set up a free consultation in our Tallahassee office.
Supervisors Reporting Sexual Harassment
We got a call in Tallahassee the other day from an individual who was a supervisor at a place of employment and he had a very good question. He was asking me if a supervisor could ultimately be held liable for sexual harassment if he fields a complaint and doesn’t do anything about it. The answer is, yes, employers can be imputed liability. If it’s a supervisor in a management position, that liability can be imputed to the employer.
Basically, if you are in management in employment and you have fielded a complaint involving sexual harassment – even if you don’t think it’s pertinent or if you don’t think it’s legitimate – make sure that the employer knows. The employer is bound to take remedial actions to try to cure the problem and, at a minimum, conduct an investigation.
Give us a call regarding sexual harassment cases in the state of Florida.
Sexual Harassment Claims
Sexual harassment is rampant, unfortunately, in the United States. My office has been handling sexual harassment cases for years. They’re very fact-specific. We’ve had a client recently who called us and asked us if we could handle their sexual harassment claim. The answer is yes. The first thing we do is we bring you in and we have a consult. These days, we’re doing some Zoom video conferencing. We have to find out about your case.
The important thing to understand is while you’re working there, and if you’re still working there, you can have a confidential conversation with your lawyer. Keep in mind that if you feel that you’re being harassed, make sure to let your supervisor know. There is no way else to prove your sexual harassment case, as a first point, unless you have documented your complaints of the harassment.
Give us a call for a free consultation in our Tampa/Wesley Chapel offices.
Choosing The Right Sexual Harassment Attorney
Sexual harassment cases are very fact-specific and very detail-oriented, and they usually involve an investigative period for the law firm who is handling the claim. Make sure your lawyer is licensed to practice in federal court, as well as state court, to handle your sexual harassment claim.
The best lawyer to handle your claim (as in most claims) would be a lawyer who is going to effectively communicate with you. Are you going to see your lawyer at the initial consultation? Is he going to address the issues that you have and the questions that you have? Not all of your questions may be able to be answered at the initial consult, and certainly your case will not be able to be fully evaluated at that initial consult, but communication is essential, especially for cases like this that usually turn on witnesses and are very fact-specific.
We’ve been handling sexual harassment cases for many years. Give us a call in Tampa right away if you have questions about your harassment case.
How to File Sexual Harassment Charges
We recently got a call in the Tampa area from a person who asked a good question: How do I file a charge for sexual harassment? Well, there are two tribunals that hear these types of claims. One of them is the Florida Commission on Human Relations, the other one is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Most of the sexual harassment cases will start there. You need a lawyer who is experienced in sexual harassment cases, and who is licensed to practice in both state and federal court, to handle these cases.
Generally speaking, from the last day that the last sexual harassment activity occurred, you have 300 days to report it to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and 365 days to report it to the Florida Commission on Human Relations. Give us a call to evaluate your case.
Hostile Work Environments
Hostile work environment and sexual harassment claims are very fact-intensive and often difficult to navigate. We recently got a call from a caller in Florida who asked us a question. She wanted to know if she had a hostile work environment claim. We basically told her that hostile work environment involves a co-worker, oftentimes, who unreasonably interferes with the employee’s ability to conduct their job and the conduct that they exhibit amounts to harassment.
One person’s definition of harassment and hostile work environment is not necessarily the same as another person’s definition, therefore you need to consult with an attorney. If you feel like you’ve been harassed at work, you need to report it immediately to your supervisor. The employer has to know what is going on specifically, and you should do it in writing.
When you come to the consult, bring it with you. Bring your log of what’s happened because ultimately, if it’s more than one thing that’s going on in the office, the employer needs to know. If the employer doesn’t know, there’s usually no case. Give us a call and we’ll talk to you about your hostile work environment claim.
Damages Available in a Sexual Harassment Case
We had a sexual harassment case recently in Wesley Chapel. A worker had asserted a claim against their employer. She was being harassed by, actually, another co-worker and she asked us a great question: What are the elements of damages of a sexual harassment claim? There’s a Florida statute and a federal statute that govern these types of cases.
To make it as simple as possible, generally speaking, the damages are, number one, lost wages. If an employee loses their job because of the harassment or is forced out of their job because the harassment became intolerable, for instance, they would be able to recoup the difference in the wages that they were earning at the time of separation through the time that the case is resolved. Sometimes, that changes, depending on the circumstances.
There are also compensatory damages— damages for things that’s hard to put a specific dollar amount on, intangible items like inconvenience, suffering, mental anguish. Those are all elements that are considered in these types of claims. Attorneys’ fees and costs sometimes are awarded in sexual harassment cases, as well.
You need a lawyer that’s going to communicate with you from the beginning to discuss these issues, discuss your case, and talk to you about the complex process of navigating a sexual harassment case in Florida. Give us a call.
Taking Action Against Sexual Harassment
We handle sexual harassment cases at Serrano McGuire and clients will often ask what to do if they feel harassed. The definition of harassment, although specifically defined in the law, is different from one person to the next. Regardless, workplaces need to be free of sexual harassment. Even if it’s something that may not be considered harassment to one person, if you feel like you’ve been harassed, you must report it –must. It is not a question of should you or shouldn’t you.
The way you report it is you put it in writing. You send an email to your supervisor. You have to let the supervisor know. Ultimately, these cases hinge on the responsibilities of the employer and whether or not they eradicate or remove the sexual harassment in the office. Put it in writing, document it, and keep your own journal.
If you have a case where you feel like you’ve been harassed at the workplace, give us a call.
Call Our Florida Sexual Harassment Lawyers Today
If you believe you have a sexual harassment claim, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Florida sexual harassment lawyers as soon as possible. You deserve to have fierce and dependable representation. We will fight for you and your rights. This is something you should act quickly on. Call our office as soon as possible to get a free first consultation to get started on your case.
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