Sexual harassment in the workplace takes two forms. Quid pro quo harassment is the type of harassment that most people are familiar with and it involves a boss or supervisor trying to trade sexual favors for job benefits. The second type of harassment may be just as likely to occur, if not more so, but many people are not aware of it. This type of harassment is called hostile work environment sexual harassment.
If you believe you are being treated in an inappropriate or discriminatory way at work, you need to understand your legal rights. Call Richard Celler Legal, P.A. for help pursing a claim against your employer for any type of sexual harassment you may be experiencing.
Hostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment
Hostile work environment sexual harassment occurs when you are made to feel uncomfortable in your workplace because of your gender or because of your sexuality. It does not have to be a boss or a supervisor who is making you feel this way in order for you to obtain compensation or make a sexual harassment claim. If your coworkers, peers or even people who work for you are making your workplace uncomfortable, then you may have a hostile work environment claim.
Examples of hostile work environment sexual harassment may include situations where you are repeatedly the victim of teasing or unwanted sexual attention or advances made by coworkers. In the past, employees have also won sexual harassment cases when their co-workers routinely sent out sexually offensive jokes and pictures, or when an office was full of pictures of naked women.
Both men and women can be victims of hostile work environment sexual harassment, but the key is that the harassing behavior must occur on a regular basis. Isolated instances of teasing or inappropriate comments are not going to be enough to make a claim for harassment based on a hostile work environment. You must routinely be made to feel uncomfortable at work in a way that interferes with your ability to do your job.
The harassing or inappropriate behavior must also be objectively inappropriate. This means that an average person with average sensitivity must be likely to become upset or affected by the behavior that is going on in the workplace.
When a hostile work environment exists, employers can be held responsible if the company did not have policies in place protecting workers and allowing for reporting of inappropriate behavior.
Your attorney can help you to determine if your employer is liable for the hostile environment that you endured. Call Richard Celler Legal, P.A. today to speak with an experienced Florida sexual harassment lawyer and learn more.