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Sexual Harassment

Employment Attorneys Protecting the Rights of Miami Employees

Sexual harassment at work is illegal. It can be devastating to be a victim of sexual harassment. Often, victims feel reluctant to come forward for fear of losing their jobs or even just the embarrassment among co-workers. Sexual harassment can have severe economic and emotional consequences. Many victims feel humiliated and despondent after being sexually harassed. If you were a victim of sexual harassment at your job, you should consult the Miami sexual harassment lawyers at Phillips & Associates.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is prohibited as a form of sex discrimination under both Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Florida Civil Rights Act (FCRA). Sexual harassment can include unwelcome sexual advances, pranks, memes, inappropriate remarks, innuendoes, touching, groping, and requests for sexual favors. It can be committed by supervisors, coworkers, customers, clients, and managers. It can take the form of quid pro quo harassment or hostile work environment harassment.

Under federal law, a hostile work environment is one in which the conduct is so severe or pervasive that it changes the terms and conditions of employment. A trivial, one-off event is unlikely to count as actionable sexual harassment, but a single egregious event probably would.

A supervisor or manager commits quid pro quo harassment when they condition continued employment, job benefits, or even getting a job, on submitting to sexual advances or providing sexual favors. You are not required to establish that your supervisor explicitly conditioned benefits on your submission to sexual requests. Sexual harassment can occur based on implicit demands. A sexual harassment attorney in Miami would need to show that a reasonable person in your position would have believed that a job-related benefit hinged on satisfying the sexual demand.

The Florida Civil Rights Act, the state law, is interpreted by using the case law interpreting federal anti-discrimination laws enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Claims Based on the Miami-Dade County Ordinance

The Miami-Dade County Human Rights Ordinance prohibits sex discrimination, including sexual harassment, in the city of Miami. Sexual harassment can involve one extremely serious act or a pervasive pattern of acts. It generally interferes with the ability to do your job, and it can make workers less productive.

The harasser may be a man or a woman, and the victim does not need to be of the opposite sex. Sexual harassment does not only occur during work hours or within the workplace. It can happen at a conference or holiday party, or another job-related event. For example, if your supervisor repeatedly tries to embrace you at the holiday party and at social work events, and you report it to HR, but HR does nothing, a Miami sexual harassment attorney can help you bring a claim.

The county ordinance is enforced by the Miami-Dade County Commission on Human Rights. You can file a claim of sexual harassment under the ordinance. If you are not satisfied with the Director’s recommended final order, you have 15 days to request a hearing before a panel of the Commission. Within 180 days of filing the claim, you can ask for a notice of right-to-sue, which would terminate the jurisdiction of the Board and its Director. You have 90 days following receipt of the notice to sue in court. The court can enter an injunction against sexual harassment. It also can award actual and punitive damages, as well as any other relief that it deems proper.

Consult a Sexual Harassment Attorney

Sexual harassment in a Miami workplace can be economically and emotionally harmful. It is important to hold employers accountable for the harm that employees have suffered. Holding an employer accountable also can stop further sexual harassment from being perpetrated. If you were harmed by sexual harassment at your workplace, you should call the sexual harassment lawyers at the Miami office of Phillips & Associates at (305) 549-5120 or complete our online form. We represent clients on a contingency fee basis, which means that we do not get attorneys’ fees unless we successfully secure a settlement or verdict on your behalf.

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