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Sexual harassment complaint can help protect Florida workers


No one wants to be subject to a hostile work place. Each year, however, there are numerous suits filed across Florida that question whether companies are following state and federal laws addressing sexual harassment in the workplace. When these laws are not followed, a lawsuit may be filed to protect a worker's rights and to put a stop to the offensive conduct.

A woman recently filed such a suit against Starbucks, claiming that she was subjected to ridicule from workers due to her disability. The woman also claimed in her suit that employees made sexual comments when she fainted as a result of her condition. This conduct is alleged to have included unwanted sexual advances by male employees.

She asserts that she went to her manager to seek assistance. Instead, they reportedly made comments as to how the woman was acting in a way detrimental to the company. The woman went on medical leave, and the company fired her shortly thereafter. It has been alleged that she had kept her manager apprised of the situation, but she was told that the termination was due to her not taking the proper measures to be on approved medical leave.

Incidents such as this one are not uncommon in workplaces across Florida. Sexual harassment is a pernicious offense. If it is shown that an employer acted inappropriately in dealing with these serious allegations, a lawsuit may be the best way to achieve a just end to the continuation of this inappropriate conduct. While it remains to be seen what the result of this woman's claims will be, both the state of Florida and the federal government have protections in place when employees are victimized by the type of conduct alleged in her lawsuit.

Source: Carroll Gardens, NY Patch, "Cobble Hill Starbucks Employee Files Sexual Harassment Case," Joanna Prisco, May 8, 2013

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