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Broward County Employment Law Blog

Settlement reached over workplace discrimination lawsuit

Discriminating against a worker because of his or her gender is unacceptable. This is true regardless of the type of work a person does or is applying for. Women often experience workplace discrimination because of their gender as employers often assume they cannot do certain tasks. Recently, a Florida woman filed a lawsuit against a construction company for gender discrimination, and she was successful in her legal claim.

The company based in Davie, has agreed to pay $38,000 to a woman who applied to be a heavy machine operator. Despite having decades of experience in this specific type of job, the company did not hire her, and she claimed it was because she is a woman. She originally responded to an online job posting, but never heard anything from the company.

Sexual harassment allegations lead to resignation of VFV employee

A man employed by Veterans of Foreign Wars in Florida has recently resigned from his position after female co-workers spoke out about repeated misconduct. There were four auxiliary employees with the VFW who came forward and reported that he committed sexual harassment multiple times. While he did step down from his position as VFW Quartermaster, he denies doing anything wrong.

There has been in internal investigation into the accusations, and the determination was that claims made by the women were credible. The women claim the man made various unwanted sexual advances toward them between the years of 2012 and 2019. Specific things mentioned in the allegations include unwanted touching, forced kissing and inappropriate comments. 

Employee says she was fired for filing sexual harassment claim

A former Disney employee has taken legal action against the company due to what she believes was an unfair termination of her employment. She claims she experienced sexual harassment while working as a chef at one of the restaurants at the Florida theme park, and the company fired her in retaliation after she filed a complaint. In her lawsuit, she says she was subjected to inappropriate touching, crude jokes and harassment from the chef who directly supervised her.

The lawsuit specifically alleged inappropriate touching that occurred during the training period. IT is claimed that the chef approached her from behind and showed her how to do a specific task by reaching his arms around her. After seeing she was uncomfortable, he purportedly assured her he would not sexually assault her. After she complained of the inappropriate treatment, Disney moved the chef to a different position so that he would not be working with the woman. 

LGBT workers fighting for workplace discrimination protection

A Florida employee has the right to go to his or her place of work without fearing inappropriate or unfair treatment from others. Unfortunately, workplace discrimination is still a problem for many employees, particularly for LGBT workers. To combat this problem, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have showed support for passing protections for these employees. However, it appears that these efforts will not be successful in the near future.

Despite widespread support for this legislation, the the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives is blocking it from moving forward. He says that he has concerns that adding these protections will result in a dramatic increase in litigation. One of the challenges to these protective measures is that one's sexual orientation is not physically apparent, unlike someone's gender. The speaker claims this could add complications for an employer, possibly leading to complex and unnecessary lawsuits.

Transgender state employees claim workplace discrimination

Every individual in Florida has the right to a workplace that is free from harassment and discrimination. Sometimes, workplace discrimination does not come in the form of specific words or actions but in more indirect ways, such as in the type of benefits a worker can get. Recently, two transgender state employees filed discrimination claims after their insurance denied specific types of medical treatments.

The lawsuits claim that the state's chosen health care provider acted in a discriminatory manner by blocking their efforts to get gender-affirming treatments. They claim these treatments were medically necessary, and a denial violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. There are legal protections available to many types of workers, shielding them from discrimination in the workplace, but there are still many questions surrounding the legal protections available on both state and federal levels to LGBTQ workers.

Workplace discrimination and medical marijuana users

Medical marijuana is legal in Florida, but that does not mean that the men and women who rely on this type of medical support do not face complications. Lawmakers have recently proposed passing laws that would provide workplace protections for medical marijuana users. This would prevent workplace discrimination over this issue and allow victims of discrimination to seek legal recourse.

Without protections in place, it is possible that individuals who are qualified to use medical marijuana could find themselves in trouble at work because of company drug policies. This is a particular concern for people who work in places that ask workers to submit to drug testing on a regular basis. The use of cannabis for medical purposes has only been legal for a few years, and some people believe that employment laws need to catch up.

Restaurant workers say they experienced sexual harassment

Several women who work at Twin Peaks restaurant locations in South Florida says they were mistreated by both their employers and customers while on the job. The waitresses have filed a lawsuit against the company that owns and operates the restaurants, but the company claims that their allegations are baseless. The waitresses say they experienced inappropriate comments, touching and and other forms of sexual harassment on the clock.

The women who work at this restaurant have to wear revealing clothes as part of their uniform. Twin Peaks markets itself as a place that appeals to men because of the way the waitstaff dresses and its sports-bar atmosphere. Regardless of the way employees have to dress and the type of environment where a person works, each individual has the right to a workplace that is free from inappropriate comments and unwanted sexual advances.

News anchor settles workplace discrimination claim

When an employee goes to work, that person has the right to do his or her job without interference due to discrimination or harassment. Unfortunately, mistreatment due to someone's gender still happens in many types of workplaces, including news stations. One anchor from the South Florida area recently took legal action against her employer, CBS, for workplace discrimination. The parties settled the lawsuit. 

Michele Gillen is well known in the area and throughout the state for her hard-hitting journalism and investigations that have had a positive impact in the lives of many. She's also won several awards for her work. Despite her knowledge and talent as a news anchor, she was forced out of her job in 2016.

Potential bill would eliminate workplace discrimination over hair

How a person's hair looks has no bearing on one's ability to do a job and perform the duties of employment adequately. However, Florida employers can still prohibit certain types of hairstyles in the workplace. A newly proposed law could put an end to that, eliminating workplace discrimination against people who wear their hair in certain ways. 

The prohibition of certain hairstyles is often considered race-oriented discrimination. The legislation would allow people to wear their natural hair, twists, braids and dreadlocks without prohibition from the employer. The senator who proposed this bill said that employees should be able to wear their hair as they choose and that workplaces should be respectful and open to the choices of others.

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