It’s interesting that you ask that, because I get a lot of questions on that.
Generally speaking, a hostile work environment is not unlawful, under Florida law or Federal law. So if your boss is harassing you verbally, calling you names, embarrassing you in front of your co-workers or your clients, throwing a notebook in your general direction, or just being abusive, unfortunately, that’s not unlawful under the law.
When it becomes unlawful, is when it’s tied to a protected category under the law, such as your race, your national origin, your age, gender, [or] disability (if you have one).
Generally speaking, a hostile work environment is not unlawful…
So in other words, if you have a racially charged workplace because of comments by the boss, that are repeated (not just an isolated incident) and that are sufficiently severe and pervasive to alter the terms and conditions of your workplace, then you have an actionable hostile work environment.
You have a duty to complain to the owner and/or boss, to give them an opportunity to stop it. But if they don’t stop it, that’s a client for unlawful hostile work environment.
John Bolanovich is an Orlando commercial litigation and employment law attorney with Bogin, Munns & Munns, a full service law firm with offices in Orlando, Clermont, Cocoa, Kissimmee, Orange City, Daytona Beach, Ocala, Melbourne, Gainesville, Titusville, St. Cloud, The Villages, and Leesburg. He welcomes questions and comments regarding the above and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NOTICE: The article above is not intended to serve as legal advice, and you should not rely on it as such. It is offered only as general information. You should consult with a duly licensed attorney regarding your Florida legal matter, as every situation is unique. Please know that merely reading this article, subscribing to this blog, or otherwise contacting Bogin, Munns & Munns does not establish an attorney-client relationship with our firm. Should you seek legal representation from Bogin, Munns & Munns, any such representation must first be agreed to by the firm and confirmed in a written agreement.