You have heard the story before. A female correctional employee files claim after her reports of sexual harassment continue to fall on deaf ears.
Women working in male-dominated jobs find themselves discriminated against and silenced all too often. Speaking up can lead to intimidation and further harassment. Women are told they are dramatic, cannot take a joke, or need to toughen up if they want to play with the big boys.
At the law offices of Mark J. Berkowitz, P.A., we believe that your right to work in a safe environment is inalienable. We have helped clients assert their rights throughout the Fort Lauderdale area for more than 20 years, and we have a proven track record of getting results. In our years of practice, we have heard it all. The difference is that we listened. We want to help you assert your rights by making sure you know them.
Correctional Employee Files Claim
If you work at a correctional facility, the last thing you would expect is to be more afraid of your colleagues than the inmates. Yet that is one woman’s story as she repeatedly tried to end the workplace harassment she faced daily.
Sexual harassment is not just uncomfortable, it is a form of gender discrimination that can rise to the level of gender violence, and it violates state and federal law. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating based on gender.
When the female officer reported sexual harassment and the correctional facility did nothing, they broke the law. The officer’s rights were again violated. The facility needed to be held accountable; the female officer deserves justice.
Understanding Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is often discussed in vague terms, but understanding your rights means knowing when they are violated. The law defines sexual harassment in two ways: quid pro quo and hostile work environment.
Quid pro quo means that submitting to sexual advances or poor conduct will improve employment conditions. For example, an employer may offer a raise, title change, or a better work environment in exchange for a sexual favor.
A hostile work environment occurs when sexual harassment is used to intimidate or control a person. This happens when harassment becomes so pervasive or severe that it impacts the employee’s ability to perform their regular work duties. This is the kind of harassment our female corrections officer suffered daily.
What Behavior Constitutes Sexual Harassment
While not an exhaustive list, specific examples of sexual harassment include:
– Inappropriate touching
– Lewd comments about appearance
– Trading job opportunities for sexual favors
– Threatening retaliation if advances are rejected
– Sexually provocative images displayed
– Derogatory comments about gender
If you have experienced any of these kinds of behaviors, it may be time to contact a sexual harassment attorney. You have the right to work in an environment free of discrimination and intimidation.
When a correctional employee files claim, she deserves to be heard and taken seriously. But then again, doesn’t every woman? At Mark J. Berkowitz, P.A. Fort Lauderdale’s Employment Law Attorney, we take women seriously. Get an appointment and today. Next time you speak, we will make sure they are listening.