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Federal law guarantees that employers must provide a work environment that is free from sexual harassment. If this duty has been violated, our team of experienced litigators, which includes both male and female attorneys, will seek to recover financial compensation for the harm you have suffered.
Through a sexual harassment lawsuit, you may be able to receive compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering, and any other harm you incurred as a result of the harassment or hostile work environment. The attorneys in Morgan & Morgan’s Fort Lauderdale office are committed to protecting the rights of sexual harassment victims and holding employers accountable for their unlawful, discriminatory actions.
To learn about how our Fort Lauderdale sexual harassment attorneys may be able to help you, please complete our free case review form.
What Is Sexual Harassment?
Behavior Creating a Hostile Work Environment
Sexual harassment occurs when an employee is subjected to severe and pervasive inappropriate behavior, creating a hostile and uncomfortable work environment.
Common examples of harassment and conditions that could create a hostile work environment include:
- Verbal and/or physical abuse
- Unwelcome sexual advances
- Inappropriate and unwanted physical contact
- Explicit memos or emails of a sexual nature
- Derogatory remarks about an individual’s sex, in general
- Crude and inappropriate jokes
Sexual harassment occurs when an individual is singled out and treated differently because of his or her gender. The harassment does not necessarily have to be sexual in nature, but can include offensive remarks about a person’s gender.
Furthermore, the harasser can be either male or female, and need not be the opposite gender as the victim. Sexual harassment and hostile work environment lawsuits are not limited to women. Male employees may also be victims of sexual harassment as well.
Discriminatory Treatment of Employees
It is illegal for employers to treat their workers differently because of gender. If you have suffered an adverse employment decision, such as termination or demotion because of your gender, you may have grounds to file a sexual harassment lawsuit. Employers generally cannot take any of the following actions against an employee if this decision was made because of the employee’s gender:
- Refuse promotions or other forms of career advancement
- Limit or reduce employee benefits
- Refuse to hire
Quid Pro Quo Harassment
“Quid pro quo” is a Latin phrase meaning something for something. Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when an employer requests sexual favors in exchange for continued employment, promotions, benefits, raises, or other benefits.
How Can an Attorney Help Stop Sexual Harassment?
If you have been discriminated against because of your gender, a Fort Lauderdale sexual harassment attorney may be able to help you stop the inappropriate conduct and, in some cases, recover compensation for any damages you have suffered as a result of the harassment. As part of this process, your attorney may:
Gather Evidence: Your lawyer will ask you to provide examples of the harassment, the time and place where the harassment occurred, the frequency of the harassment, and the severity of the behavior. In some cases, your attorney may request you keep a log or journal to record harassing or discriminatory behavior for use as evidence should your case proceed to negotiations or court. Prior to filing the lawsuit, your attorney may investigate your case by:
- Interviewing witnesses
- Reviewing office or location security footage, if available
- Reviewing the employer’s history regarding past instances of discriminatory conduct
- Requesting records from your employer regarding how the company has responded to reports of sexual harassment
- Working with Fort Lauderdale police and other authorities if criminal conduct has occurred
Report the Harassment: If your employer has procedures in place to address workplace harassment, your attorney may ask you to report the inappropriate behavior or hostile work environment to your company’s human resources (or other appropriate) department. Your attorney may also contact the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to file a formal charge.
File a Lawsuit: Should your company fail to take appropriate measures to remedy the situation, your attorney may file a sexual harassment lawsuit seeking damages from your employer and/or the harassing party.
Negotiate a Settlement: Seeking to avoid the embarrassment and negative press coverage associated with a sexual harassment lawsuit, many companies will settle before going to trial. Your attorney will engage in negotiations on your behalf to obtain a settlement amount that fully compensates you for the damages you have suffered.
As seasoned negotiators, our sexual harassment attorneys will ensure you do not recover less than that to which you are entitled. Should these negotiations not produce an acceptable settlement offer, the attorneys at Morgan & Morgan have the resources and capabilities to take your case to trial. Our attorneys have litigated hundreds of employment discrimination cases and have developed a reputation as aggressive litigators who are committed to protecting their clients’ interests.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Sexual Harassment Lawsuit?
By filing a sexual harassment lawsuit, our Fort Lauderdale attorneys may be able to assist you in fighting for compensation for the following types of damages:
- Past and Future Lost Wages: You may be able to claim compensation for any wages you lost as a result of the sexual harassment.
- Medical Expenses: Sexual harassment victims are entitled to receive compensation for any medical expenses incurred as a result of the harassment, including the costs of seeking psychiatric treatment or counseling.
- Pain and Suffering: If you suffered physical pain or emotional distress because of the hostile work environment, you may be able to recover compensation for pain and suffering.
- Loss of Consortium: Damages for loss of consortium are intended to provide compensation for the harm that has occurred to the victim’s marital relationship because of the harassment. Loss of consortium includes compensation for loss of love, affection, and companionship that a spouse may suffer as a result of the sexual harassment.
- Punitive damages: In cases where an employer’s conduct is particularly egregious, your attorney may be able to seek punitive damages on your behalf. Punitive damages are intended to punish the wrongdoer and deter other companies from engaging in similar behavior and creating hostile work environments.
- Reinstatement: If you were terminated or denied employment, your attorney may be able to obtain an injunction from the court requiring the company to reinstate you to your previous position or offer you a position.
To learn more about your legal options and how a Fort Lauderdale sexual harassment attorney may be able to help, please fill out our free case review form today.