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Sexual Harassment

Attorneys Representing Clients in Cape Coral

People should be able to work in a safe environment without fear that they will be harassed or treated unfairly for any reason. Unfortunately, sexual harassment is an issue afflicting many workplaces throughout Florida, impairing workers’ employment rights. Sexual harassment not only creates uncomfortable situations but it is also unlawful, and employers that sexually harass workers or allow sexual harassment to persist may be liable for civil damages. If you are a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, the dedicated Cape Coral sexual harassment lawyers of Lusk, Drasites & Tolisano, P.A. can gather the evidence needed to provide you with a strong chance of obtaining a favorable result. We frequently represent people in litigation in Cape Coral and other cities throughout Florida.

Laws Prohibiting Sexual Harassment

Federal and state laws protect employees from harassment in the workplace. Specifically, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) provides that it is unlawful for employers to discriminate against people in terms of the conditions, privileges, or terms of employment because of their sex. Section 760.10 of the Florida Statutes (Section 760.10) models the language of Title VII. While neither Title VII nor Section 760.10 explicitly prohibit sexual harassment, they both prohibit discrimination based on gender, and courts interpreting both statutes have found this to include sexual harassment. As such, it is unlawful for an employer to sexually harass an employee or allow such harassment to continue. Confer with sexual harassment attorneys in Cape Coral to discuss your rights under the law.

Examples of Sexual Harassment

Sexual comments and advances, requests for sexual favors, and displaying or sharing lewd or explicit materials are examples of sexual harassment. Notably, both men and women can be sexually harassed by people of either sex. Additionally, while most sexual harassment is sexual in nature, it does not have to be, as inappropriate comments regarding a person’s sex may also constitute harassment. Generally, there are two types of sexual harassment claims: quid pro quo and hostile work environment. A hostile work environment occurs when sexual harassment is so pervasive that it changes a person’s work conditions. Quid pro quo harassment happens when a person in a position of authority asks a current or prospective employee to participate in sex acts and indicates that the person’s employment status is contingent on how he or she responds. For example, if an employer threatens to terminate an employee who will not engage in sexual activity, it may constitute quid pro quo harassment. Sexual harassment lawyers serving employees in Cape Coral can discuss your possible claims.

Sexual Harassment Claims

Sexual harassment victims often are able to pursue damages under both Title VII and Section 760.10, but the precise claims asserted vary depending on the circumstances surrounding the harassment and other factors, like how many people work for the employer.

Under both laws, plaintiffs alleging hostile work environments must show that they were members of a protected group and were subjected to unwelcome sexual harassment, like requests for sexual favors. They must also show that the harassment was based on their sex and was so pervasive or severe that it changed the conditions and terms of their employment, creating a work environment that was discriminatorily abusive. Plaintiffs must also demonstrate a basis for holding the employer liable.

Plaintiffs alleging quid pro quo harassment for job benefits must prove that they were members of a protected class and were subject to sexual harassment based on their sex as well. They must also show that their reaction to the harassment impacted tangible aspects of their employment. An employee’s rejection or acceptance of harassment must be a condition to the receipt of job benefits or the cause of an adverse employment action to establish liability for quid pro quo harassment.

Speak to Knowledgeable Cape Coral Sexual Harassment Attorneys

Employees have the right to work in safe environments, and employers that violate the law by allowing employees to be sexually harassed should be held accountable. If you were sexually harassed at work, you may be owed compensation, and you should speak to a lawyer promptly. The attorneys of Lusk, Drasites & Tolisano, P.A. can advise you of your potential claims and aid you in pursuing justice. We have offices in Cape Coral and Fort Myers and Naples, where we frequently represent people in employment lawsuits. You can reach us at 800-283-7442 or through our form online to set up a meeting.

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