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South Florida Employers Tackle Workplace Harassment


Large employers across South Florida are addressing workplace harassment and establishing safe working environments, according to an article by the Sun Sentinel.

An examination of several employers in the South Florida region – of which feature at least 1,000 employees – demonstrated a steadfast attitude against workplace harassment.

There is an automotive company in Deerfield that engages in a yearly update of their code of conduct, including anti-harassment and anti-discrimination provisions. Employees must renew their commitment to a safe and respectful working environment on a yearly basis.

At a software company in Fort Lauderdale, there is an annual training program to teach employees about workplace harassment. In addition to employees, vendors and partners are required to complete the training program as well. The software company also created clear pathways for employees to report workplace harassment, including an anonymous hotline.

A healthcare organization in Miami treats each workplace harassment complaint with the utmost severity. Employing a zero-tolerance approach, the healthcare organization investigates each claim quickly and aggressively. That way employees understand that their employer will hold everyone accountable for their behavior.

As the previous paragraphs indicate, South Florida employers have a demonstrated commitment to preventing workplace harassment. To gain a deeper appreciation for the importance of such policies, the following sections will examine key aspects of federal and state laws concerning workplace harassment.

What is Workplace Harassment?

There are federal and state laws that prohibit workplace harassment. On the federal level, there is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. There are also protections available in the Florida Civil Rights Act. The U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) is a federal organization that monitors employers and protects against workplace harassment and discrimination.

In general terms, workplace harassment occurs when there is “unwelcome conduct” at work. To qualify for legal protection, the unwelcome conduct must be directed toward a protected class.

What Qualifies as Unwelcome Conduct?

Generally speaking, the workplace environment must be extremely hostile for harassment laws to apply. Most of the time, employees must face a consistently negative environment based on their protected status. Slight insults or singular encounters do not generally rise to the level of workplace harassment.

Who Qualifies as a Protected Class?

From a legal standpoint, there are eight categories of protected classes:

  • Race;
  • Color;
  • Religion;
  • Sex (including pregnancy);
  • National Origin;
  • Age (past 40 years of age);
  • Disability; and
  • Genetic Information.

The protected classes above have legal protection from workplace harassment through Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Florida Civil Rights Act.

Contact Us Today

Whether you are the victim of workplace harassment or other violations of employment law, it can be exceedingly favorable to seek legal counsel from an adept employment lawyer. Don’t hesitate to contact Penichet Law in Miami, Florida for help with your case.