Need to Know: Sexual Harassment in Southwest Florida

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Like many problems that can arise in the workplace, victims may be unwilling to come forward or report the harassment for fear of losing their jobs. Although your employer can’t legally retaliate against you, the prospect of losing one’s job during a tough economic climate can be downright scary. If you believe you’re being sexually harassed, you should contact an experienced employment law attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can make sure your rights are being protected as you navigate the process of filing a sexual harassment complaint. Listed below are just a few of the many forms of sexual harassment that can occur in a workplace.

Different Types of Sexual Harassment

  • Verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature
  • Unwelcome sexual advances
  • Requests for sexual favors
  • Repeated sexually-explicit jokes, emails, videos, language and images
  • Adverse employment decisions due to unfulfilled sexual requests
  • Demeaning or belittling language of a sexual nature about or directly to employees

When Your Supervisor is Harassing You

In many companies, it may be standard operating procedure to file a complaint with one’s supervisor. Victims run into trouble when their supervisors are actually the ones perpetrating the sexual harassment. In this case, your attorney can advise you on how and where to file an initial complaint. It may be necessary to go outside of the traditional chain of command.

Handling Sexual Harassment in Southwest Florida

If you are a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, contact an attorney first. Your next step will be to file an internal complaint with your employer. It may be necessary to check your employee handbook to find out if your company has a formal procedure in place for handling such reports. Email works well for filing initial complaints, because you will have something dated in writing. If a situation isn’t corrected at the company level, it will be necessary to file a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the Florida Commission on Human Relations (FCHR). Upon completion of initial state and federal investigations with these agencies, you will be able to file a lawsuit against your employer.

Legal Disclaimer: The above guidelines are educational in nature and do not create an attorney/client relationship. It is highly recommended that all Florida citizens with employment law issues contact an experienced local Florida employment law attorney to assist them with specific facts and circumstances regarding their labor and employment law matter. If you have been the victim of illegal activities at your workplace, then feel free to contact Attorney Rothman at Weldon & Rothman, PL toll free at (877) 730-5180 or via e-mail at info@weldonrothman.com

Bradley P. Rothman is an experienced Florida employment law attorney who has been recognized by Super Lawyers as a Rising Star.  He is a principal member of Weldon & Rothman, PL – a Southwest Florida law firm with offices in Naples, Fort Myers, and Sarasota.

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