Florida Hostile Work Environment Lawyer
Protect Yourself From Harassment & Discrimination in the Workplace
At Yormak Employment & Disability Law, our Florida Hostile Work Environment lawyer is dedicated to helping employees who find themselves in a hostile work environment. A hostile work environment is one in which an employee or group of employees face harassment and discrimination due to their race, gender, sexual orientation, or other protected class. It can be caused by a single act or repeated behavior by a supervisor, co-worker, customer, or other third parties.
Under both state and federal law, employees have the right to be free from hostile work environments. This includes protection against discrimination based on race, gender, religion, national origin, age (for those 40 and older), disability, pregnancy, and other factors. If you experience any of these forms of discrimination or harassment, it is important to take action in order to protect your rights and prevent further hostile acts.
At Yormak Employment & Disability Law, our team is dedicated to helping individuals who find themselves in a hostile work environment. Our board-certified Employment Law expert, Benjamin Yormak, can provide you with the specialized guidance and representation you need to successfully navigate your hostile work environment claim.
If you or someone you know is experiencing a hostile work environment, do not hesitate to contact us for a confidential consultation.
Laws That Protect Employees from Workplace Harassment & Bullying in Florida
In Florida, there are several state and federal laws that protect employees from workplace harassment and bullying.
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act is a federal law that prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin
- The Florida Civil Rights Act is a state law that also prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin.
- The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) is a federal law that protects workers over the age of 40 against discrimination in the workplace.
- The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law that provides protection to those with disabilities and protects them from being discriminated against in the workplace.
Employees who feel they are victims of harassment or bullying can contact a Florida hostile work environment lawyer for help in protecting their rights and getting the compensation they deserve.
What Constitutes a Hostile Work Environment in Florida
Contrary to what many believe, a hostile work environment does not have to involve physical actions such as pushing, hitting, shoving, etc. In general, it is defined as “a workplace where an employee feels intimidated, threatened, or otherwise uncomfortable due to the actions or words of another individual.”
While this can include physical harassment, it also includes verbal abuse, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, or workplace bullying. The behavior must be unwanted and offensive to “a reasonable person,” no matter how subtle it may seem. It must also be severe enough to affect the person toward whom it is directed.
Factors to Consider for a Hostile Work Environment Claim
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), physical harassment is a factor that constitutes a hostile work environment. Physical harassment is defined by the EEOC as “unwanted physical contact.” Physical harassment can include light contact or more serious forms of physical contact, such as hitting, slapping, or unwanted sexual touching. Physical harassment can also occur when an individual is subjected to offensive bodily fluids, such as urine or feces.
Physical harassment can have a devastating effect on an individual’s ability to perform their job and can create an atmosphere of fear and intimidation in the workplace. If you have been the victim of physical harassment at work, it is essential to contact an experienced employment law attorney who can help you protect your rights.
Verbal abuse is another factor that constitutes a hostile work environment in Florida. The following are examples of verbal abuse:
- Yelling, cursing, or name-calling
- Making offensive or derogatory comments about an individual’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetic information
- Making threats or comments about an individual’s job security
- Repeatedly asking an individual personal questions that are unwelcome and make the individual feel uncomfortable
- Making lewd or sexually suggestive comments or gestures
- Engaging in conduct that unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance
- Making disparaging remarks about an individual’s appearance
If you have been the victim of verbal abuse at work, The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission details the importance of speaking to your employer immediately. If your employer does not take satisfactory action, you need to speak to an employment law attorney who can help you.
Sexual abuse is a third factor that constitutes a hostile work environment in Florida. This includes any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.
Sexual abuse can take many forms, and the effects on victims can be severe. Some examples of sexual abuse include:
- Unwanted touching or groping
- Lewd comments or jokes
- Displaying sexually explicit materials
- Repeatedly asking personal questions about someone’s sex life
- Making sexual threats or demands.
Victims of sexual abuse often suffer from anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. They may also have difficulty concentrating, sleeping, and eating. So, if you have been a victim of sexual abuse at work, it is important to seek help as quickly as possible from a qualified attorney who can help you protect your rights.
Racial discrimination is another factor that constitutes a hostile work environment in Florida. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against employees based on their race, color, creed, national origin, or ancestry.
There are many examples of racial discrimination in the workplace. One example is when an employer hires, promotes, or fires employees based on their race. This is known as disparate treatment and it is illegal under both federal and state law. Another example of racial discrimination is when an employer sets different standards for employees of different races. For example, an employer might request that white workers have a college degree but only request a high school diploma from black workers. This is called disparate impact, and it can only be legal if the employer can show that the difference in standards is job-related and necessary for business operations.
Racist discrimination can cause mental and emotional pain, as well as financial and physical harm. So, if you think you have been treated unfairly because of your race at your workplace in Florida, you should talk to an experienced employment law attorney about your legal options.
Workplace bullying is another factor that constitutes a hostile work environment in Florida. There are many different forms of workplace bullying. Some examples of workplace bullying include:
- Verbal abuse – This can include yelling, name-calling, and put-downs
- Physical abuse – This can include hitting, pushing, and kicking
- Psychological abuse – This can include mind games, manipulation, humiliation, threatening, and intimidation
- Sexual harassment – This can include unwanted sexual advances, comments, or quid pro quo requests
- Withholding important information or resources that employees need to do their jobs
- Sabotaging an employee’s work or deliberately making it difficult to do their job
- Exclusion from important work-related activities, such as meetings or training opportunities
If you are the victim of workplace bullying, it is crucial to take action. You need to speak to your boss about this. If there are no changes after doing this, get advice from a hostile work environment lawyer who can help you through the process and provide you with information on your legal rights.
Retaliatory behavior in the workplace is a serious issue that can create a hostile work environment. In Florida, retaliatory behavior is a factor that constitutes a hostile work environment.
Some examples of retaliatory behavior include:
- Threatening an employee who has filed a complaint or lawsuit against the company;
- Making derogatory comments about an employee who has filed a complaint or lawsuit;
- Verbal or physical violence against an employee who has reported wrongdoing by the company or one of its employees;
- Refusing to provide an employee with information that he or she is entitled to under the law;
- Filing false charges against an employee in retaliation for the employee’s protected activity;
- Demoting or reassigning a member of staff to a less desirable position after complaining about discrimination or harassment;
- Passing over an individual for promotion because they filed a complaint against their company, a supervisor, a colleague, or a client.
If you have experienced any type of retaliatory behavior at work, it is important to speak to an attorney. Retaliatory behavior is illegal. An experienced hostile work environment attorney will assist you in understanding (and protecting) your legal rights and options.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What should I do if I feel like I am in a hostile work environment?
If you are feeling threatened, harassed, or discriminated against in the workplace, it is important to take action immediately. First, keep a record of any incidents that make you feel uncomfortable. This could include emails, text messages, or other forms of communication from your colleagues or supervisors. Additionally, document any conversations with your employer and coworkers about the hostile work environment. You should also let your supervisor know that you feel uncomfortable in the workplace. If no action is taken, or if the situation does not improve, it may be time to seek legal advice from an experienced hostile work environment lawyer. A lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and options and protect yourself from further harm.
How do I prove that I am working in a hostile environment in Florida?
In order to prove that you are working in a hostile environment in Florida, it is important to document any incidents of hostile behavior or mistreatment. Additionally, create a timeline of events that have occurred at work and keep records of all communication with your employer and coworkers related to the hostile environment. It is also beneficial to write down details such as the date and time of each incident, the people involved, and any attempts to intervene or remedy the situation. An experienced hostile work environment lawyer can review this information and help you determine if there is a legal basis for your claim. A lawyer will also assist you in understanding and protecting your legal rights and options.
Can I be fired for complaining about a hostile work environment in Florida?
Under the law, it is illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee who has complained about a hostile work environment. This includes firing or demoting an employee in response to their complaint. If you have been fired, demoted, or otherwise retaliated against after complaining about discrimination or harassment in your workplace, you may be able to take legal action against your employer. An experienced hostile work environment lawyer in Florida can help you understand your legal rights and options.
Contact Us Today For a Free Consultation
At Yormak Employment & Disability Law, we understand the difficulties that come with being in a hostile work environment. Our team is ready to help you protect your rights, get compensation, and prevent further hostile acts. As one of the few board-certified employment law experts in Florida, Benjamin Yormak has the knowledge and experience you need to get the most out of your case. Contact us today for a confidential consultation to discuss your situation and learn more about how we can help you.