Fort Lauderdale Sexual Harassment Attorneys
Enforcing Legal Protections in the South Florida Workplace
Sexual harassment is a type of workplace discrimination or harassment that can include both overt sexual behavior as well as more subtle forms that may have nothing to do with sex. It can occur in many ways and results in interference with job performance. It constitutes a form of sex discrimination that is illegal under both Florida law and the federal law called Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Under both of these laws, employers must abide by requirements designed to process, investigate, and ultimately handle this matter in the workplace.
What is Workplace Sexual Harassment?
Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, sexual harassment is broken down into two categories:
- Quid pro quo, where a supervisor, manager, or boss requests certain sexual favors or sexual conduct from or with you that will lead to a tangible job benefit for you, such as a promotion, pay raise, more favorable assignment, better hours, or for merely hanging on to your job. Examples could include requesting that you go out on a date or have some type of sex with him or her in exchange for one of the above benefits.
- Hostile work environment, in which some type of unwelcome and inappropriate sexually-related conduct becomes so pervasive or severe that it makes the workplace intimidating, offensive, or hostile. It can include constant sexual references, jokes, slurs, comments about your body or degrading or patronizing behavior from co-workers or supervisors that leads to hindering your ability to work.
More About Inappropriate Sexually-Related Conduct in the Workplace
Improper or inappropriate sexually-related conduct at work can include various types of behavior including:
- Unwanted kissing, hugs, touching of body parts, back rubs, massages, slapping you on the butt
- Sexual assault and rape
- Sexually explicit material circulated verbally, electronically, or by text such as degrading jokes, cartoons, memes, pictures, and more
- Constant remarks or compliments made to you or others about your body or dress
- Sexual gestures
- Being asked about or having comments made about your sex life whether alone or in front of other employees
- Having a co-worker or supervisor discuss his or her sex life to you whether alone or in front of others
- Being given unwanted gifts that are of a romantic or sexual type
- Passing along sexually-related rumors about you or another employee
- Trapping you in a corner or other tight spot
- Asking you about your dating history or sexual preferences while at work (or while performing job duties wherever you may be)
- Being subjected to sexist comments or gender stereotypes, such as those that refer to how you should dress or wear your hair or makeup
Sexual harassment can not only stem from supervisors and co-workers but also from clients, customers, suppliers, vendors, partners, or patrons. Under the law, you have the right to be protected from sexual harassment by these individuals who deal with your company. Your employer should be informed about such harassment and take steps to handle it.
For the most part, women are the most common victims of workplace sexual harassment. However, the law knows no gender when it comes to protections against sexual harassment. Same-sex harassment as well as women harassing men are also illegal under the law.
Why You Should Turn to The Amlong Firm
At our firm, we understand exactly how difficult it can be to go to work every day when facing sexual harassment or a hostile work environment. Attorney Karen Coolman Amlong first went into feminist politics, the Florida Legislature, and subsequently law school after her boss at a department store chain told her she could not get a better-paying job because the competing male candidate "has a family" and "needs" the promotion.
Attorney Bill Amlong has also successfully argued before the United States Supreme Court that employers should be liable for the sexually harassing behavior of supervisory employees unless they have in place an effective mechanism to combat sexual harassment. He was also the first male chair of the Broward County Commission on the Status of Women.
Simply put, our attorneys are aggressive advocates who are here to help people in sexual harassment, hostile work environment, unequal pay, and gender discrimination cases. Above all, we are trial attorneys. Our opponents know we are willing to go to court which often makes them more willing to offer our clients better settlements.
Need legal advice? Talk to a Fort Lauder sexual harassment lawyer about your situation at (954) 953-5490 today.