Workers in Gainesville, Florida, and throughout the United States, have the right to a workplace free from sexual harassment. Work can be difficult enough without dealing with inappropriate sexual comments, unwanted touching, or sexual advances every day.
If you have been sexually harassed at your Gainesville job, you should be aware of your legal rights and what your options are. You have the right to seek legal recourse for the suffering you’ve experienced. A sexual harassment attorney can examine your sexual harassment case to determine what options you have.
What Is Sexual Harassment at Work?
Sexual harassment in the workplace is when one person repeatedly participates in inappropriate behavior of a sexual nature toward another person. Inappropriate sexual behavior could include unwanted sexual advances, nonconsensual touching, crude jokes, and more.
It’s important to note that one comment in poor taste does not equate to sexual harassment. Sexual harassment behavior typically involves a pattern of behavior of a sexual nature that makes the victim feel like their workplace has become a hostile environment.
Employees are legally protected from this sort of behavior, and victims have the right to file a claim or lawsuit to recover damages for sexual harassment. The perpetrator could be held legally accountable for his or her actions. An employer can also be held liable for failing to protect employees and for failing to prevent a hostile work environment.
To consult with an experienced sexual harassment lawyer serving Gainesville, call 855-780-9986
Examples of Sexual Harassment Behavior in the Workplace
Workplace sexual harassment can take many forms, it can be physical, verbal, cyber, or quid pro quo. Sexual harassment at work can include one or more of these types of harassing behavior and is often hallmarked by its repetitive and unwanted nature.
Physical Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment can be physical, meaning the harassment typically involves unwanted sexual contact between the perpetrator and victim. Here are examples of physical sexual harassment at work:
- Unwanted touching, grabbing, fondling, and caressing
- Kissing someone without permission
- Obscene gestures
- Brushing up against the victim in a sexual way
- Leering suggestively
- Hugging without permission
- Playing with a person’s hair without consent
- Touching oneself in front of another person
Verbal Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment can also take verbal form, in which no physical contact is made. Verbal sexual harassment can still be just as distressing to the victim as physical harassment. Examples of verbal harassment include:
- Crude jokes or innuendo
- Unwanted or excessive flirting
- Asking someone repeatedly on a date when they have declined
- Talking about sexual behaviors in front of others
- Requests for sex
Cyber Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment has more recently taken cyber form. This is when a person is exposed to unwanted sexual photos or language through digital means. Examples of cyber sexual harassment:
- Showing inappropriate sexual pictures on a phone
- Emailing sexual visual imagery or sexual language
- Texting unwanted sex photos or language
- Taunting someone sexually through digital channels, direct messages, email, or social media
- Showing inappropriate websites on a computer
Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment
Another serious form of sexual harassment is called quid pro quo. This is where someone requests sexual favors in exchange for something else. For instance, when a boss requests a sexual favor in exchange for a promotion or pay raise. Requests for any form of sexual favor exchanged for something is quid pro quo sexual harassment.
Gainesville Sexual Harassment Lawyer Near Me 855-780-9986
Impact of Sexual Harassment on Victims
Sexual harassment negatively impacts victims in many ways. Victims often feel “violated”, like their bodies no longer belong to them. They often deal with mental and emotional trauma and may require mental health treatment to deal with their experiences. Some sexual harassment victims develop mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts.
Victims often deal with other related issues as well, such as job loss for refusal to participate in a quid pro quo sexual relationship. They could lose out on promotions or be bullied. They can experience financial ramifications if they lost their job, transferred, or missed a career advancement opportunity due to the harassment they experienced.
Some victims of sexual harassment never fully recover from their experiences. They deal with residual trauma for many years to come. If you are a victim of sexual harassment at work, a sexual harassment attorney in Gainesville can examine your case to help determine your options.
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Time Limitations for Filing a Sexual Harassment Lawsuit
There are a few legal time limitations for filing sexual harassment lawsuits, so it’s important you understand how these laws impact your case. For instance, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission requires victims to report sexual harassment within 180 days of the incident or, if extended, up to 300 days. You can also report sexual harassment to the Florida Commission on Human Relations for up to 365 days.
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How Can a Lawyer Help with My Sexual Harassment Case?
A sexual harassment attorney knows the laws in Florida and can walk you through the process of holding the responsible party accountable for their actions. They can help you understand your options as well as possible case outcomes.
A Gainesville sexual harassment lawyer can help you meet filing deadlines and legal requirements, as well as assist you with all legal documentation and paperwork. A lawyer protects your best interests and can even collect evidence, such as interviewing witnesses at your workplace.
Contact Us for Help with Your Gainesville Sexual Harassment Case
Sexual harassment is a serious matter, and those responsible for this behavior can be held accountable for their actions. The law allows victims to seek damages and justice for their experiences. Liable parties could include the perpetrator as well as an employer if the employer was complicit in allowing a hostile work environment to develop.
Reach out to Bogin, Munns & Munns to discuss your workplace sexual harassment case. Our firm was founded over forty years ago, and we have recovered millions of dollars for our clients. Request a case consultation today!