If you have been in the workforce either as an employee or an employer in Florida for any length of time, you know that there are strong laws against sexual harassment at work. There may well have been a time when these laws were intended to protect female workers against alleged male perpetrators predominately but today, the scope of these laws is definitely much broader. According to the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, every person in the workforce should be able to perform his or her duties without fear of harassing behavior.
Florida businesses are tasked with providing safe work environments for their employees. This safety goes beyond protecting people against physical injuries from falls or other dangers and includes ensuring people feel comfortable and are not harassed by or discriminated against by their colleagues, supervisors or others.
People who work in Florida or who may even work in other states for companies based in Florida show know that their rights will be appropriately protected when on the job. If this does not happen, they should then feel that there is hope of finding justice and even compensation for any damage they experience.
The concept of sexual harassment in the workplace is not anything new to most people in Florida. Much has been said and heard about this topic for several decades. However, sexual harassment can still be somewhat misunderstood even today. This is because what can constitute sexual harassment is not always as clearly defined as many people may think. Some may believe that sexual harassment is when one person makes overt sexual advances toward another person at work. While this may be one form of sexual harassment it is far from the only thing that comes under the sexual harassment umbrella.
A recent change in the position being taken by the Department of Justice could leave some Florida employees vulnerable to termination. As Business Insider reports, the DOJ has filed a briefing arguing that sexual orientation is not protected by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which protects against workplace discrimination.
While not every employed person in Florida has an official employment contract, it is not unusual for a person to be asked to sign individual contracts with very specific provisions or protections for the employer. Two types of these contracts are nondisclosure agreements and noncompete agreements.
Florida employers and employees alike should be familiar with the state's laws on sexual harassment in the workplace. Some of the laws that govern such behavior or alleged behavior are federal and apply to federal employees as well as those employees in the private sector. A man who is 51 years old and had previously been employed by the United States National Park Service has experienced this firsthand.
Florida employers who are covered under the Florida Civil Rights Act not only need to be aware of the state's laws surrounding sexual harassment at work but also need to focus on training their employees and managers about this issue. As explained by BLR, the Florida Civil Rights Act pertains to any business with more than 14 employees. This may be in either the public or the private sector.
Florida employers know that they are bound by law to treat all employees fairly. Discrimination based upon gender, age, sexual orientation, age or other factors is expressely forbidden and may expose companies to legal liability. Allegations surrounding these types of things may take many forms, making each and every case truly unique.
If you're like most people in Florida, you may well have experienced or witnessed some form of bullying as a kid. Even if simply name calling and nothing more, this can and does happen. In fact, bullying is not limited only to the school yard but can and does happen in the workplace as well. When it does happen, everyone in an organization and the organization itself may suffer.