Miami Sexual Harassment Attorney | Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC
You need sexual harassment attorney in Miami when a CEO, fellow employee, supervisor or manager, client, or business associate makes unwelcomed sexual comments or gestures towards and employee or job applicant that interfere with his or her work performance. This is a form of sex discrimination and it is illegal. It is important for victims to seek assistance from an experienced sexual harassment attorney as soon as possible after the harassment occurs.
For over 25 years, the experienced sexual harassment lawyers at the Derek Smith Law Group have helped victims of sexual harassment in the Miami workplace receive the justice they deserve.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Miami Sexual Harassment Lawyer
What is Sexual Harassment in the Workplace in Miami?
Workplace sexual harassment in Miami is one of many forms of gender-based discrimination or sex discrimination. It occurs when an employer, co-worker, supervisor, manager, client, or non-employee of a company makes unwanted gestures, comments, or conducts him or herself in a manner that is offensive to a reasonable person. There are several points regarding sexual harassment that are good to know and help you determine if you are a victim:
- Sexual harassment can affect a man or woman
- Sexual harassment can occur between people of the same sex or different sexes
- Sexual harassment can be actions, verbal communications, or written communications
- Sexism is also sexual harassment
- A sexually explicit cartoon, video, or joke can be sexual harassment
- Sexual harassment can occur within the workplace or outside the workplace at a work event or function
- Sexual harassment can include gender-based terms and offensive, such as “Hun,” “Honey,” “Sweetheart,” “Babe,” “Baby,” etc.
- Sexual harassment can occur between people who were once in a relationship
- Sexual harassment can occur even if a person consents to the behavior or acts similarly if he or she feels the need to “go along to get along.”
- A criminal sexual act in the workplace is also grounds for a sexual harassment claim
While sexual harassment comes in many forms, the law neatly bundles these incidents into two types of claims: quid pro quo and a hostile workplace.
- Quid Pro Quo. The definition of quid pro quo is “this for that.” In other words, this is a favour for a favour or advantage expected in return for something. Under a quid pro quo claim, the employee or job applicant is made to understand that if the advances or conduct is refused, he or she will not receive favourable treatment at work. For instance, if you do not go on a date with your manager, you will be denied the promotion that you have been working towards.
- Retaliation is also a part of quid pro quo claims. Retaliation occurs when the employee is wrongfully terminated or demoted because he or she did not agree to or return the supervisor’s unwanted sexual advances. Many times, the harasser in a quid pro quo situation is in a position of power or a client, as opposed to a coworker.
- Hostile Work Environment. The other claim for sexual harassment in Miami is a hostile work environment. In Miami, this means that the conduct must be severe or pervasive enough to create a work environment that a reasonable person may find intimidating, hostile, or abusive. This can include sexual jokes, comments, emails, stalking, unwelcomed touching, harassment for sexual orientation, sexism, or anything that is not a quid pro quo action.
The hostile work environment can be between co-workers or come from employer, manager and supervisors, associates, clients, and other non-employees. It cannot be lighthearted one-time jokes. Instead, it must be consistent and truly make a person feel intimidated or abused.
If you are the victim of workplace sexual harassment in Miami, the more evidence you have to help your case, the better your odd of winning will be. It is important to keep as detailed notes as possible to help show the harassment you were forced to deal with at work. Make sure to document:
- Each specific incident of harassment
- The time and date the incident occurred
- The people directly and indirectly involved
- Offensive conversations or remarks
- Emails or memos you received
- Complaints you made, when, to whom, what you said
- The response to the complaints made
- Any reactions to the alleged sexual harassment
- How the incident made you feel
- How the incident affected work performance
- How the incident affected your general well-being
Both federal and state laws prohibit sexual harassment in Miami. Title VII of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 is the federal law that prohibits employers, coworkers, supervisors, managers, and non-employees of companies with 15 or more employees from engaging in sexual harassment against an employee or job applicant.
The Florida Civil Rights Act also prohibits workplace sexual harassment if the company maintains 15 or more employees. The sexual harassment lawyers at the Derek Smith Law Group can help you determine the best court for your claim.
Sexual harassment in the workplace in Miami can take many different forms. Verbal and written communications, sexual acts, and even innuendos can be forms of sexual harassment. Here are some examples of Miami sexual harassment in the workplace:
- Co-worker sexual harassment
- Unwanted physical contact
- Criminal sexual conduct, such as rape or aggressive sexual assault
- Sexually explicit jokes, emails, comics, comments, etc.
- Harassing an employee due to being gay or lesbian
- Sexual orientation harassment
- Catcalling or whistling at an employee or job applicant
- Using sexist remarks to comments that indicate perceived gender roles or discriminate against men or women by the nature of the comment
- Retaliation against an employee for refusing sexual advances
- Wrongful termination
- Sexual Coercion
- Repeatedly asking a co-worker or employee on a date after the request had been refused
- Making sexually explicit noises or gestures
- Same-sex contact or comments
- Non-employee sexual harassment, such as comments or actions from a client
- Giving or receiving sex-based gifts
- Unwelcomed requests for sexual acts
- Continually harassing a co-worker or employee to go on a date after he or she answered no.
- Sexism or making derogatory and stereotypical comments about a person based on their sex or gender
- Sexual bribery
- Refusal to hire a person because of his or her sex or gender
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) monitors Title VII claims. The EEOC gives a time limit of 300 days for Miami employees to file a claim for sexual harassment. Once the EEOC receives the charge, it will investigate to determine if there is evidence of a violation of Title VII laws. Once the investigation is complete, the EEOC will issue a Right to Sue letter, which allows you to file suit in federal court.
The Florida Commission of Human Relations (FLCHR) monitors the Florida Civil Rights Act claims. The FLCHR gives a time limit of 365 days to file a claim for investigation. If the FLCHR determines there is enough evidence to file a lawsuit under the Civil Rights Act, they will issue a Right to Sue letter for you to file your case in state court.
When you are the victim of sexual harassment, you want justice, and rightfully so. If you are going to take the time and go through the emotional work of filing a claim for sexual harassment in Miami, you want to know what will come out of it. Some of the remedies offered through the courts for sexual harassment in the workplace include:
- Reinstatement of employment
- Reassignment or termination of harasser
- Reimbursement of back pay
- Payment of future wages
- Reimbursement of medical expenses
- Reimbursement of benefit premiums
- Reinstatement of benefits
- Attorney’s fees
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Punitive damages
As a victim of workplace sexual harassment, it is natural to want the process to be over as quickly as possible so you can move forward with your life. The process of a sexual harassment lawsuit can last anywhere from 4 to 6 months to 1 year or longer from the date you receive the Right to Sue letter.
If an employer is willing to negotiate a fair settlement, your case will likely take only 4 to 6 months until an agreement is reached. This agreement will allow you to avoid court and the emotional turmoil trial can bring. However, do not settle for less than your case is worth.
If your employer is not willing to negotiate a fair settlement, the case may go to trial. The process of taking a case through trial to receive a judgment from the court can take a year or longer. Once the case is in front of the judge, you may have another few days to a few weeks until the case closes. Contact a Miami Sexual Harassment Lawyer to help you stop the abuse.
As a victim of sexual harassment in the Miami workplace, there are several things you can do to help you build your case before you even file a claim.
- Contact a sexual harassment attorney immediately.
- If you have not quite your job or been fired, do not quit. Quitting your job could hurt your case.
- If you have an HR department, report the incident of sexual harassment immediately.
- Make sure you make it clear to your harasser that you want the behaviour to stop. Speak up.
- If your company has the policy to handle sexual harassment, make sure you take the steps to follow it.
- Document every incident of sexual harassment. Include what occurred, who was involved, when and where it happened, and who witnessed the incident.
Contact Our Experienced Miami Sexual Harassment Attorneys for a Free Consultation
Every employee and job applicant have a right to work in an environment free from sexual harassment impacting decisions relating to hiring, termination, compensation, training, benefits, and all other employment-related issues.
If you are the victim of sexual harassment in Miami, the experienced attorneys at Derek Smith Law Group are here to help. Contact our Miami sexual harassment lawyers at (305) 946-1884 for a free consultation. We do not collect any money until you win your case.
We are located in Miami, Florida, and serves throughout Miami-Dade County, Broward County, Palm Beach County, Monroe County, Orange County, in Orlando, Naples, Tampa, Jacksonville, and locally in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Coral Gables, Aventura, South Miami, Miami Lakes, North Miami, North Miami Beach, Miami Beach, Hollywood, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach, Pembroke Pines, Plantation, Sunrise, and Boca Raton, Florida.
Different Types of Sexual Harassment Cases We Handle:
- Hostile Work Environment
- Quid Pro Quo
- Unwelcome Request For Sex
- Sexism in the Workplace
- Sexual Bribery
- Sexual Gift-Giving at Work
- Sexual Harassment by a Supervisor
- Workplace Sexual Coercion
- Non-Employee Sexual Harassment
- Gay and Lesbian Sexual Harassment
- Sexual Harassment at Off-Site Events
- Stalking in the Workplace
- Criminal Sexual Conduct
- Sexual Joking
- Co-Worker Sexual Harassment
- Sexual Orientation Harassment
- Unwanted Physical Contact
- Same-Sex Sexual Harassment
- Sexual Harassment at Office Holiday Parties