Workplace harassment in Miami occurs when an employee is degraded or faces offensive treatment from his or her employer, CEO, supervisor/manager, or co-worker based on race, religion, gender, pregnancy, military status, national origin, citizenship status, color, age (over 40), disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity. This is also known as a hostile work environment and it is illegal. For over 25 years, the experienced attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group have helped victims of workplace harassment, just like you, get the justice they deserve.
What Is Workplace Harassment in Miami?
Workplace harassment in Miami, also known as a hostile work environment occurs when an employer, CEO, supervisor/manager, or co-worker create a work environment that a reasonable person would feel is unbearable based on race, color, national origin, religion, age (over 40), disability, pregnancy, citizenship, military status, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or anything else that may be considered a protected class under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The treatment must be severe and pervasive. Workplace harassment can come in the form of:
- Offensive jokes
- Unwanted physical contact
- Threats to employment opportunities
- Physical threats
- Offensive drawings
- Offensive graphics on clothing
- Abusive comments
- Using slurs
In order to prove workplace harassment in the workplace, you need to prove the following three things.
1. The harassment must target a protected class. This means that it must address your race, religion, color, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, pregnancy, citizenship, or military status.
2. The harassment must be severe and pervasive. This means that it must be extremely offensive, so much so that a reasonable person would be highly offended. The general rule id that if it occurs once, that is usually not severe or pervasive. However, if it happens more than once, especially after a complaint has been made, the harassment may be considered severe and pervasive.
3. The harassment must make the workplace unbearable under the reasonable person standard.
Workplace harassment comes in many forms. Some examples of workplace harassment include:
• Your boss calls you a stupid woman as he criticizes your work.
• Your co-worker wears shirts with Nazi propaganda on it
• Your co-worker sends out weekly “jokes” about the LGBTQ community, despite your complaints to HR.
• Your supervisor continuously jokes that you must be as old as the first caveman, even when you told him it offends you and asked him to stop
• Your manager tells you to “go back to where you came from” in the process of criticizing your work
• Your boss promises you a raise if you go on a date with her
• Your co-worker imitates your foreign accent while making fun of your method of completing a project
• Your co-worker uses racial, religious, and gender-specific slurs regularly
• Your boss continues to grope you whenever he is alone with you
The time limit to file your lawsuit for workplace harassment is based on the laws you wish to use for your claim. If you wish to file a claim based on a Title VII violation, you must file your claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within 300 days of the last incident of workplace harassment. The EEOC will conduct an investigation and if they determine your claim is valid, will issue a Right to Sue letter to allow you to file your lawsuit.
If the claim is related to race discrimination, you can file a claim under 42 U.S. Code §1981, the time limit to file your claim is 4 years from the date of the last incident.
Under Florida law, you can also file a claim with the Florida Commission on Human Relations (FCHR) allows you 365 days to file a claim for workplace harassment. The FCH also maintains a reciprocal agreement with the EEOC in which a claim can be filed through one entity and, in turn, be filed with both entities.
As a victim of workplace harassment, you want relief from the courts for your pain and suffering. The court may offer the following remedies for your complaint:
• Reimbursement of medical and other expenses
• Attorney’s fees
• Removal of the person responsible for the harassment
• Review and revamping of the harassment policy
• Pain and Suffering
• Emotional Distress
• Punitive damages
The length of time your lawsuit for workplace harassment in Miami will take to settle is directly related to the details of your case and the parties involved. If your employer is willing to negotiate terms for a fair settlement, your lawsuit may settle within 4 to 6 months. However, if your employer will not negotiate a settlement, the case may have to go to trial. The process to prepare for trial may take 8 months to a year or longer. The trial may take an additional few days to several weeks until a judgment is entered.
If you are the victim of workplace harassment, you are likely hurt, confused, and scared. It is difficult you make the move to file a claim against your employer. The decision should not be taken lightly. However, as you make your decision, here are a few things you can do to help prepare for your case in advance.
1. Contact an experienced workplace harassment lawyer.
2. If you are still employed with the company, do not quit until you consult an attorney.
3. If your company has an HR department, report the harassment in writing. Filing a complaint gives the company the opportunity to make things right. A court will want to see that you made this attempt before hearing your case.
4. If your company has a policy for handling harassment, follow it.
5. Gather evidence. Collect all evidence that can help prove your claim. Collect emails, text messages, and notes. Document incidents, including what occurred, where and when it occurred, who was involved, and any witnesses.
6. Do not waste time. Your time to file a claim is limited. Do not wait so long that your window closes.
Contact Our Experienced Miami Workplace Harassment Attorneys for a Free Consultation
All employees have a right to work without being harassed because of who they are or their protected class status. If you are a victim of workplace harassment in Miami, the experienced attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group can help. Contact us today at (305) 946-1884 for a free consultation. We do not collect any money until you win your case.