Worried That You Will Be Punished For Reporting Sexual Harassment In The Workplace? Here Is A Guide To Your Rights
While the issue has received renewed attention in recent years, sexual harassment in the workplace remains a serious problem. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), sexual harassment has a negative effect on mental health, physical health, and workplace advancement.
You should be able to report sexual harassment by a supervisor, co-worker, or client/customer without fear of facing punishment. In this article, you will find an overview of your rights to report sexual harassment in the workplace in Florida.
Federal and Florida Sexual Harassment Laws Apply to Employers With 15 or More Workers
Sexual harassment is a form of illegal sex-based discrimination. It is prohibited under both federal law and Florida law. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 applies to all businesses and organizations with 15 or more employees. Likewise, the Florida Civil Rights Act (FCRA) applies to public and private employers with 15 or more employees.
You Have the Right to Report Sexual Harassment Under Title VII and the FCRA
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Florida Civil Rights Act provide covered workers with the legal rights to report sexual harassment—either directly to their employer or through an employment law claim. Under these laws, covered employers are strictly prohibited from taking any adverse action (punishing) a worker because he or she complained about sexual harassment. An employer that takes adverse action against an employee who reports sexual harassment is engaged in retaliation. Retaliation is illegal. It is the most common basis cited in federal employment law claims. Some examples of retaliation include:
- Suspending or demoting an employee;
- Denying an employee a promotion or other opportunities for advancement;
- Terminating an employee; and
- Subject an employee to additional harassment.
The Bottom Line: You have the right to report sexual harassment if your employer is covered by Title VII or the FCRA. If you are punished for complaining about sexual harassment, your rights have been violated.
How to Protect Yourself from Retaliation When Reporting Sexual Harassment
Reporting sexual harassment in the workplace can be intimidating—especially so if the perpetrator is your supervisor or another employee. Here are some key steps to take to protect yourself from retaliation when reporting sexual harassment:
- Be Proactive: Do not wait to report workplace sexual harassment.
- Document the Matter: Write down what happened and save any evidence related to the sexual harassment.
- Do it in Writing: One of the best steps to protect yourself against retaliation for reporting sexual harassment is to ensure that your complaint is in writing.
- Get Professional Help: A Florida employment attorney with experience handling sexual harassment claims and retaliation claims can help.
Get Help From a Workplace Retaliation Attorney in Florida
No employee should have to ensure sexual harassment in the workplace. You should be able to report workplace sexual harassment without worrying about facing any punishment. If you or your loved one was retaliated against for reporting sexual harassment, an employment lawyer can help.