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.
The EEOC explains that treating one person differently than another in any way because they may be gay, bisexual, lesbian, transgender, female or male is quite simply illegal. It is also against the law to create a work environment in which another person feels unsafe or harrassed. This might even include making deragatory comments about a group of people based upon gender or sexual orientation. The comments do not have to be directed toward a specific individual.
When it comes to making decisions about hiring, firing, promoting, training, laying off or more, it is expressly unlawful for gender or sexual orientation to be factored into the equation. The focus should always be on a person’s ability to perform a job and their track record of doing so.
This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to help educate both employers and employees in Florida about sexual harassment in the workplace and how the laws apply to all persons regardless of gender, gender identity or sexual orientation.