Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Attorneys with 30 Years of Legal Experience in the Orlando Area
Sexual harassment at work occurs when the employer subjects you to unwanted sexual conduct for the purpose of intimidating, degrading, humiliating, or violating your dignity which may include sexually explicit statements or requests for sexual favors. Although employees typically fear reporting such harassment to avoid retaliation, both the harassment and retaliation for opposing or complaining of sexual harassment, are against the law. If you have been subjected to any form of sexual harassment at work, you do have rights and damages available to you. Our attorneys at Wilson McCoy, P.A., Orlando’s employment law firm, have over 30 years of combined experience in sexual harassment cases.
If you have or are experiencing any of the following forms of sexual harassment at work, please do not hesitate to contact our office today:
- Harassment as a result of ending a personal relationship
- Statements, notes, texts, emails, or innuendos that are sexually explicit by a co-worker or boss
- Inappropriate touching
- A co-worker or boss eliciting unwelcomed sexual favors or a personal relationship
- Termination, denying a promotion, demoting, or retaliation in any other way due to your reporting of the sexual harassment.
Hostile Work Environment
In many situations, when an employee refuses the unwelcomed sexual advances of a co-worker or superior, they experience further harassment and a hostile work environment. You should report such behavior immediately in accordance with your employer’s procedures. When an employer learns of any sexual harassment you are experiencing in the work place, they are required to immediately protect you by taking any necessary actions. All employees have the legal right to feel safe and free of sexual harassment at work.
Our attorneys will take the time needed to explore your unique matter and properly advise you on your next step, whether it be resign or report the conduct. Our firm will help you gather the necessary evidence to prove the harassment that you have endured. We have experience conducting full investigations by sometimes contacting witnesses and identifying the harassment patterns to assure you have the foundation needed to move forward in your matter against your employer.
Wilson McCoy, P.A. is dedicated to fighting for the rights of employees whom have faced sexual harassment by their employer. The experienced sexual harassment and discrimination lawyers at our firm understand the severe damages that unlawful sexual harassment can cause you and your family. For that reason, it would be a privilege for us to represent you and help you reach your goal in your individual matter. Contact us today to learn how we can help you!
Note: Most discrimination claims are governed by a statute of limitations. If your claims are not first preserved through the filing of an administrative charge of discrimination, you may lose your right to sue your employer. For guidance about this process or to determine whether your employer has violated your rights, please contact us for a consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the difference between “quid pro quo” sexual harassment and “hostile work environment” sexual harassment?
In quid pro quo sexual harassment, something is used as leverage to secure sexual favors – typically job-related benefits. This leverage can be positive or negative. You may be offered a raise in exchange for sexual favors, for example, or you may be threatened with termination if you refuse to comply. Quid pro quo sexual harassment also includes retaliation for reporting sexual harassment.
If, on the other hand, you are subjected to inappropriate touching, off-color jokes or remarks, etc. with no “leverage” involved, then your claim might more properly be characterized as a “hostile work environment” claim.
Can a man be a victim of sexual harassment?
Yes, a man can be a victim of sexual harassment, either by a woman or by another man. Sexual harassment law is formally gender-neutral. Although it is true that most sexual harassment claims are asserted against men on behalf of female victims, this need not be the case to sustain a sexual harassment claim.
What types of remedies might I be entitled to?
A variety of remedies are potentially available for a successful sexual harassment claim, including:
- Money damages for any loss of pay or benefits, any emotional distress you may have suffered and/or damage to your reputation.
- Mandatory reinstatement with full pay and benefits to public sector employees.
- If you were fired, back pay from the date of termination until the date of the settlement or verdict.
- Punitive damages, if the defendant’s behavior was particularly outrageous.
- “Front pay” compensation is possible, which is the estimated amount that you would have earned had you continued in your job verses what you are earning currently.
What is the “totality of the circumstances” approach to a “hostile work environment” claim?
In the “totality of the circumstances” approach to a sexual harassment claim, the court will look at the entire context of the circumstances you faced at work. A single incident, if not very serious on its own, for example, might not qualify as a hostile work environment, but a pervasive pattern of behavior might qualify.
Can I file a “hostile work environment” claim for words or conduct that is not explicitly sexual?
Yes, you can, because certain behavior amounts to gender-based harassment, even if it is not explicitly sexual. Sexually degrading remarks, gender-specific insults, and gender-specific epithets are all capable of supporting a “hostile work environment” claim.