Harassment in the workplace comes in many different kinds of forms. While a cruel or crude boss might be an annoyance, certain types of workplace harassment are treated far more seriously. Employees who face such workplace harassment may have legal remedies.
Which types of workplace harassment have legal consequences?
Florida and Georgia are employment-at-will states, which means that an employer can generally treat their employees how they want and terminate them as they see fit. It also means that, generally, workplace harassment does not have legal solutions. If a boss is rude to you or makes you work extra hours, for example, this is not usually grounds for a workplace harassment suit.
Some types of harassment, however, may have legal remedies. If harassment is based on a “protected class,” for example, civil rights laws can help hold the harasser accountable. Examples of a protected class include:
- Race or national origin
Workplace harassment based on any of these characteristics can have legal remedies. For example, a woman who faces workplace sexual harassment may be able to make a complaint in court. Likewise, someone who faces discrimination due to their race may have a case in court as well.
What happens if an employer has a workplace harassment policy?
Many employers think a workplace harassment policy protects against harassment suits. Simply having a written policy is not enough for an employer to avoid liability for workplace harassment.
In other words, you can sue your employer for discrimination or workplace harassment even if they implement a workplace harassment policy. This is especially true in cases where the person harassing you is a manager or employee in a high-ranking position.
What can you do if your employer retaliates?
It is illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee who reports workplace harassment. If your employer fires or demotes you because of your report, you could be entitled to legal remedies. Likewise, if your employer verbally degrades you or ostracizes you because of your report, this too could be grounds for a retaliation suit against them.
Find an attorney for workplace harassment in Florida and Georgia
If you or a loved one has suffered workplace harassment, contact the workplace attorneys of The Leach Firm, PA. We are happy to help answer your questions and seek the justice you deserve. To get started, contact our office at (844) 722-7567.