Sexual Harassment Attorney in Fort Lauderdale
Fighting Tirelessly to Protect the Rights of Workers in Florida, Colorado & Illinois
Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, sexual harassment constitutes unlawful discrimination. Employees are protected from sexual harassment in the workplace and may take legal action against an employer if sexual harassment has occurred. By law, sexual harassment is defined as any physical or verbal sexual advances, requests, comments, or conduct that is unwelcome or unwanted.
If you are the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, contact the team at USA Employment Lawyers to discuss your case with one of our Fort Lauderdale sexual harassment attorneys. Harassment can be difficult to define, which is why it is crucial that you speak to an experienced lawyer about the specifics of your situation. We can help you determine if you have a case and if so, we can take aggressive legal action against the liable parties. Our firm assists clients throughout Florida, as well as across Colorado and Illinois.
What Is Workplace Sexual Harassment?
As previously mentioned, workplace harassment can be hard to pinpoint—there is often a fine line between what is legal and what is illegal conduct. It is important that you clearly understand your rights.
Generally speaking, there are two types of sexual harassment: quid pro quo harassment and harassment that leads to a hostile work environment.
What Is Quid Pro Quo Harassment?
Quid pro quo translates to “this for that”. Quid pro quo harassment tends to be somewhat easier to define, as it usually involves some form of sexual request or behavior in exchange for employment-related gains, such as a promotion or raise. Unlike hostile environment, a single instance is sufficient to be legally considered sexual harassment.
What Is a Hostile Work Environment?
Hostile work environment harassment is created when an employer, supervisor, coworker, or multiple coworkers make unwelcome comments or advances that result in any reasonable person feeling intimidated, uncomfortable, or threatened in a way that negatively affects his or her employment. Typically (though not always), this conduct is severe and pervasive in nature.
It is important to note that simply feeling stressed or unhappy at your job does not necessarily mean you are the victim of a hostile work environment. It is not illegal for your boss to yell at you, but it is illegal for him to threaten to fire you unless you perform sexual favors. This is a complex and highly nuanced area of law; it is wise to discuss your situation with a sexual harassment attorney in Fort Lauderdale who knows the ins and outs of these types of cases.
If you are facing sexual harassment in the workplace, then you need to be aware of your full legal rights and how you can assert them. Contact USA Employment Lawyers today for a free consultation.
Signs of Sexual Harassment
There are countless ways in which workplace harassment can occur. Some examples include:
- Any request for or solicitation of sexual favors
- Unwelcome physical contact, such as hugging, touching, patting, pinching, etc.
- “Gawking” or staring at a person in a sexual or suggestive manner
- Sexually suggestive, vulgar, or lewd jokes, comments, or remarks
- Rude or unwanted comments about someone’s body, clothing, and/or appearance
- Sending, forwarding, or distributing emails, flyers, or other materials that are sexual in nature
- Repeated requests for dates or non-work-related meetings
- Using derogatory sexual slurs or epithets
- Threatening employment-related punishment to coerce sexual favors or activities
Workplace harassment can also occur even if the behavior is not necessarily sexual in nature. For example, using racial slurs, remarking on someone’s ethnicity or appearance, making derogatory comments on a person’s religion or sexual orientation, or making fun of someone’s age are all forms of harassment.
What to Do If You Are Being Harassed in the Workplace
Though it can be very difficult, it is important that you first inform the harasser or harassers that their behavior is unwelcome and ask them to stop. You should also report the harassment to your HR department. If the unwelcome conduct does not stop, or if your employer insists that the behavior is not harassment, you should reach out to an attorney who can help you determine which steps to take next. Remember, it is illegal for your employer to retaliate against you for filing a harassment claim.
Our Fort Lauderdale sexual harassment lawyers at USA Employment Lawyers understand the emotional and long-lasting consequences of workplace harassment. With this in mind, we work quickly to compile a strong case on your behalf, all while providing you with compassionate, personalized legal counsel. Our goal is to help you achieve a swift resolution so that you can move forward with your life.