Sexual Harassment Lawyer Miami | Free Consultation | No Fee Unless We Recover
Sexual Harassment Attorneys Protecting Your Rights As An Employee
No employee deserves to be harassed, discriminated against or mistreated at work. However, in Florida workplace gender discrimination, sexual harassment and occupational sexism occur far too often and when it does you need an experienced and dedicated Florida discrimination and sexual harassment attorney. While sexual harassment is a major problem in all states, it seems even more prevalent in Florida and in the city of Miami.
Sexual harassment is a form of gender-based discrimination, and such sexism is illegal. Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature where a person’s employment is affected because the employee submitted to or rejected the unwelcome conduct. Sexual harassment also occurs if the conduct unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance or creates a hostile work environment.
Under federal law, sexual harassment is a type of gender discrimination covered under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Florida Civil Rights Act also prohibits sexual harassment and gender discrimination. Under both Title VII and the Florida Civil Rights Act, it is unlawful for an individual to harass or discriminate against someone because of that person’s sex. Under these federal and Florida protections, an employer is liable for sexual harassment when they engage in discriminatory conduct based on gender, make sexist comments, or a supervisor or manager predicates job benefits—such as a promotion, or advancement—on whether the employee acquiesces to the supervisor or manager’s request for sexual favors.
Moreover, it does not matter if you are a man or a woman and it does not matter your sexual orientation (Gay, Straight or Bi-Sexual) anyone can be a victim of sexual harassment. For instance, a woman can sexually harass another woman, a man can sexually harass another man, and even a woman can sexually harass a man. All such instances can lead to unlawful sexual harassment. Additionally, a company will be held liable if an employee reports the behavior and the employer is negligent, or if the corporation retaliates against the employee who reports the sexually harassing behavior.
Sexual harassment victims are never alone. Victims have rights as an employee, and the law is on their side. Also, with the right Miami sexual harassment lawyer possessing the proper knowledge of Federal, Florida, and local Miami-Dade sexual harassment laws and procedure, you can fight back. Please give our skilled attorneys of the Derek Smith Law Group a call, at 1-305-946-1884, for your free consultation.
What is Workplace Harassment?
Sexual harassment is often difficult to define, as many actions in the workplace tread the fine line of sexual harassment. In general, conduct is not illegal if it only consists of offhand comments, annoyances, jokes, or petty slights not intended to severely injure an individual; however, slurs, assaults, threats, ridicule, insensitive display of pictures and offensive jokes may be considered harassment should they interfere with the work performance of a reasonable person. Sexual harassment is typically a series of repeated acts; however, isolated incidents may also fall under the umbrella of harassment if the behavior is particularly egregious or offensive.
Illegal workplace sexual harassment falls into one of two categories: quid pro quo—Latin for “this for that”—sexual harassment and hostile work environment sexual harassment. Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when harassing conduct results in an intangible change in an employee’s employment status or benefits become a condition of continued employment, or leads to demotion, termination, lack of promotion opportunities. In hostile work environment harassment, the conduct is severe or pervasive enough to create a work environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile or abusive.
What is Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment in Florida?
Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment –In Florida, this type of sexual harassment involves the victim being forced to choose between accepting or submitting to sexual advances and suffering one or more employment-related consequences. For example, work harassment would fall into the quid pro quo category if a Miami employee suffered a pay cut, was denied a promotion, was fired upon the refusal of a date, one or more requests for a sexual favor, or other sexual advances. On the other hand, if an employee received a raise, bonus, or promotion only after fulfilling certain sexual requests, it could also be considered workplace sexual harassment under Florida State and local Miami-Dade law.
The sexual harassment complainant does not have to be the person at whom the offensive conduct is directed, but anyone affected by the harassing conduct. Sexual Harassment and gender law in Miami and Florida— as well as all over the country—is constantly evolving law, and there are a number of factors and details that are considered in determining workplace harassment, including the following:
- The response of the employer to formal complaints filed internally
- The existing policies, procedures, and training protocol that relate to workplace harassment
If you feel that you have exposed to quid pro quo sexual harassment or workplace discrimination in Miami or South Florida contact the Miami sexual harassment lawyers at the Derek Smith Law Group for a FREE sexual harassment legal advice consultation. Our sexual harassment attorneys with offices in Miami, New York City, New Jersey, and Philadelphia charge no fee unless we recover for you.
What is Hostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment in Florida?
Hostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment – A hostile work environment is one form of discriminatory harassment in the workplace, where conduct is severe or pervasive enough to create a work environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive. Hostile work environment sexual harassment is also frequently referred to as an intimidating work environment, offensive work environment, abusive work environment, or hostile workplace. The person responsible for creating such a threatening atmosphere could be an employee (such as a boss or coworker) or even a non-employee (such as a customer or independent contractor). Offensive conduct may entitle the victim to legal recourse through a harassment lawsuit against the employer or another employee.
An employee or group of employees prove a case of hostile work environment sexual harassment when the following conditions are shown:
- The individuals subjected to the unwelcome harassment fall under a protected class based on their gender/sex
- The harassment was sexual in nature
- The harassment affected a term, condition, or privilege of employment
- The conduct was severe and pervasive
- The employer was or should have been aware of the harassment
- The employer did not take necessary remedial action such as no action at all, took insufficient action, or exacerbated the problem
Examples of sexual harassment that can contribute to a hostile work environment include:
- Contact that could make an employee feeling awkward (i.e. patting, pinching, or intentionally rubbing up against someone)
- Attempting to make unwelcomed contact such as kissing or hugging
- Repeatedly asking to date or engage in sexual relations
- Gawking at someone in a sexually suggestive manner
- Making unwelcomed or rude comments regarding appearance (i.e. clothes, body parts)
- Telling sexual or vulgar jokes, hanging lewd pictures, and making sexual gestures
- Sending, forwarding, or requesting letters, notes, email, or images with sexual connotations
If you feel as if you have been exposed to hostile work environment sexual harassment or workplace discrimination in Miami or South Florida contact the Miami sexual harassment lawyers at the Derek Smith Law Group for a FREE sexual harassment legal advice consultation. Our sexual harassment attorneys with offices in Miami, New York City, New Jersey, and Philadelphia charge no fee unless we recover for you.
Examples of Sexual Harassing Conduct
There are three major forms of harassment: verbal, nonverbal, and physical.
Verbal Sexual Harassment – such as:
- Sexual or suggestive comments
- Poking fun at someone Imitating the way someone speaks
- Sexual propositions
- Obscene telephone calls or voicemails
- Offensive jokes
- Repeatedly prodding about someone’s personal life or sex life
- Threats or insults
- Inappropriate language in the workplace
- Inappropriate vocalizations (i.e. moaning and re-enacting sex noises)
Nonverbal Harassment – such as:
- Suggestive gazes or sneers
- Practical jokes
- Following someone
- Offensive bodily gestures
- Hanging material on the wall that is offensive or contains sexual innuendos
- Sabotaging someone’s work by denying them access to information
- Encouraging a coworker to speak crassly about or harass someone in the office
- Mandating that women perform domestic tasks around the office (i.e. cleaning up after meetings)
Physical Harassment – such as:
- Gratuitous physical contact against someone’s will (i.e. pinching, brushing up against, hugging, rubbing, massaging)
- Attempting to kiss or embrace
- Uncomfortable proximity
- Sexual assault (i.e. touching or attempting to touch someone’s breasts or genitals)
- Pushing, shoving, or jostling
We Are Here to Help!
When you are a victim of sexual harassment at your workplace, it is not easy to cope with the anxiety, fear, depression, or anger one feels. You may be afraid to break your silence, think that the law does not protect you, or feel confused by the advice given by coworkers, family, or friends. On the one hand, you feel that you are stuck, afraid of losing your job if you do complaint or object to the harassment; yet, on the other hand, you cannot continue working for your employer without stress or fear. Just know that you are not alone, and Derek Smith Law Group can help you through this difficult time, but time is of the essence.
Every day that passes can impact the chances of settling or winning your case because of statutes of limitation in the law. Moreover, as time passes you and other possible witnesses may forget critical details of the case, or physical evidence could be destroyed.
The skilled Miami lawyers at the Derek Smith Law Group are available to represent employees and executives in Miami, South Florida, and throughout the state of Florida with their claims of sexual harassment and unjust treatment. Our sexual harassment attorneys have years of experience litigating claims of discrimination and sexual harassment. Working together with our New York City and Philadelphia discrimination and sexual harassment attorneys, we have recovered millions on behalf of our clients who were discriminated against because of their gender or other protected status under Federal and state law. If you feel you have been discriminated against, please give our attorneys a call, at 1-305-946-1884, for your free consultation.
Our Florida office is located in downtown Miami and serve individuals and employees throughout Miami-Dade County, Broward County, Palm Beach County, Monroe County, Orange County, in Orlando, Naples, Sarasota, Tampa, Jacksonville, Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Gainesville, and locally in Miami, Miami Beach, Brickell, South Miami, Miami Lakes, North Miami, North Miami Beach, South Beach, Coral Gables, Aventura, Kendall, Doral, Hialeah, Florida Keys, Key West, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Davie, Pembroke Pines, Plantation, Sunrise, Coral Springs, Pompano, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Palm Bay, and, Florida.
Derek Smith is not yet admitted to practice law in Florida. His Partner, Andrew Alitowski, Esq. is admitted to practice law in Florida and runs the Miami office. Additionally, Kelly O’Connell is admitted to practice law in Florida and also operates out of the Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC Miami office. Derek Smith is sitting for the July Florida Bar exam and hopes to be admitted in Florida shortly.
Maps & Directions
Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC
100 SE 2nd Street, Suite 2000
Miami, FL 33131