In Florida, employees are protected against sexual harassment under both Florida law and federal law. These protections apply to public and private employers with at least 15 employees and cover two different types of sexual harassment: hostile work environment and quid pro quo.
This article will discuss the scenarios that constitute sexual harassment under Florida and federal law.
Hostile Work Environment vs. Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment
- Hostile work environment sexual harassment refers to unwelcome, offensive language, physical contact, or sexual images that a reasonable individual would find unacceptable. While this definition doesn’t cover all sexual remarks and actions, many can qualify for a sexual harassment claim.
- Quid pro quo sexual harassment typically refers to a request for sexual favors in return for a promotion, raise, employment benefit, or steady employment. With this type of sexual harassment, the employee may lose his or her job, be denied a promotion, or experience reduced pay or benefits for refusing sexual advances.
Examples of Sexual Harassment in Florida
The following situations would be considered sexual harassment under Florida and/or federal law:
- Sending an obscene email, letter, or invitation to a coworker
- Repeatedly physically blocking a coworker or employee’s movements
- Creating sexually offensive sketches, cartoons, or gestures
- Unnecessarily touching or brushing against a coworker or employee’s body
- Expressing sexual interest after being told that the interest is unwanted
- Retaliating against a coworker or employee for threatening to report a case of sexual harassment
This is not a comprehensive list – there are many other scenarios that would constitute sexual harassment in Florida.
At Weldon & Rothman, PL, we provide aggressive representation for sexual harassment and hostile work environment claims. If you believe that you’ve been a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, contact us today to schedule a consultation!