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.
Reports indicate that another ranger who was female and nearly 20 years younger than the man had accompanied him on a work-related outing. While at the destination, the man is said to have made advances to her that she clearly said were not wanted. This involved grabbing her, pulling her toward him and attempting to kiss her on the mouth. The event took place in December of 2015. In early 2016, additional incidents were said to be reported but no details of those events are known.
Instead of spending up to one year in jail and paying a high fine, the man will be subject to a 12-month deferred sentence after which time his charges will be dismissed so long as he abides by all of the requirements during that time. He has been relieved of his job with the National Park Service. It is not known if any civil action has been taken in the case.
Maintaining a safe workplace involves ensuring all employees feel comfortable around each other so they can perform their jobs. Harassment can interfere with this and it can be helpful for managers to discuss sexual harassment issues wiht an attorney.
Source: The Daytona Beach News-Journal, “Canaveral Seashore chief ranger reaches agreement in sexual harassment case,” Frank Fernandez, June 1, 2017