Sexual harassment this is defined as any “unwelcome sexual advances, conduct or other physical or verbal acts of a sexual nature, which occur in the workplace.”
If you are a Florida employee, and your employer offers you any work-related benefit, such as a promotion, shift change or salary increase, in exchange for any act that is sexual in nature, your employer may be found liable for workplace sexual harassment.
Similarly, Florida law provides that employers may also be liable for sexual harassment based on a hostile work environment. The law defines a hostile work environment as one that is excessively sexual in nature. If you believe that your workplace is overly sexual in nature, you may be victim of sexual harassment.
In addition, Florida law prohibits employers from making any statements that are sexual in nature. Employers may not threaten employees, directly or indirectly, with any adverse action for not complying with acts or statements that are sexual in nature.
Under Florida law, employers are directly responsible/liable for all workplace sexual-harassment incidents.
The Florida Civil Rights Act of 2009
The Florida Civil Rights Act (FCRA) of 2009 provides additional protection from sexual-harassment offenses. While this law primarily prohibits discrimination because of religion, national origin, age, disability, marital status, gender, color and race, FCRA also prohibits any act or statement that affects another individual’s personal dignity.
If you are a victim of sexual harassment and you believe that the workplace offense affects, or affected, your personal dignity, your employer may be found liable under FCRA. Various court rulings consider sexual harassment as a form of gender/sex discrimination.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (CRA) of 1964 prohibits Florida employers from discriminating against employees, or prospective employees, with respect to employment privileges, compensation, or terms because of a person’s gender/sex, religion, national origin.
In addition, Title VII of CRA states that an employer may not take any action against a person that would “otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.”
If you are a victim of sexual harassment and you believe that your employer has taken an action that adversely affects you as an employee, your employer may be found in violation of this provision. Since the law recognizes sexual harassment as a form of gender/sex discrimination, Florida employers may face harsh penalties, including punitive damages, for workplace sexual-harassment offenses.