Well, and the phrase is (and it comes from Supreme Court cases), “…is sufficiently severe and pervasive to alter the terms and conditions of your employment.”
Ironically a lot of legal opinions came out from the federal appellate courts after that and ruled that certain sets of facts did *not* meet that standard, and you’d be surprised by the things that went on in that workplace that the court said, “No, it doesn’t rise to that level.
But really, the repetitive nature of the abuse. Whether you have witnesses that embarrass you further because he’s doing it in front of your co-workers or clients. Sexual harassment, for example, should involve touching or some kind of quid pro quo where, “If you go out with me I’ll give you a better schedule; if you don’t go out with me I’ll give you a worse schedule.” But “to alter the terms and conditions of your employment” means it interferes with your ability to do your job, which is what you’re there for.
…[Y]ou’d be surprised by the things that went on in that workplace that the court said, “No, it doesn’t rise to that level.”
And that’s really the crux. If it’s so severe and pervasive that you can’t do your job, you can’t focus, you have to avoid bosses or co-employees then it’s most likely going to rise to that standard.
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 email@example.com.
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