Discrimination in Florida workplaces that is based on gender is as unacceptable as any other form of discrimination. A dried fruit processing company in another state was ordered to pay $1,470,000 in damages to a group of employees who reported sexual harassment and wrongful termination occasioned by retaliation to the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. This was reportedly the maximum amount of damages allowed by applicable laws.
According to court documents, some female employees were allegedly harassed by two male supervisors of the company. The court found that employment and promotions of the women were based on sexual favors demanded by the supervisors. Male colleagues of the harassed women reportedly also spoke up about the harassment endured of the females. The company then allegedly retaliated by terminating the employ of the men and women who lodged complaints.
The court confirmed the right of employees to speak out against work environments that are sexually hostile without having to fear retaliation by employers. The court commended the courage of the male workers who supported the women in this claim. According to the EEOC, sexual harassment and retaliation are rampant in the agricultural industry.
The fear of unemployment discourages many victims of sexual harassment or discrimination in Florida from reporting it. However, the law protects workers against retaliation, and employers may be held accountable. Taking on an employer in court may seem overwhelming, but with the support and guidance of an experienced employment law attorney, compensation for lost wages, lost benefits and other damages may be achieved.
Source: legalnewsline.com, "Z Foods Inc. to pay more than $1.4 million after allegations of sexual harassment and retaliation", Mark Iandolo, July 26, 2016