Learning the Law: Hostile Workplace Law.
A hostile workplace is one where discrimination or offensive comments (and/or actions) are based on race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin, disability, equal pay, pregnancy, retaliation, or sexual harassment.
Employees are legally protected from harassment and/or discrimination, under both Florida and Federal law. Offensive comments need not be addressed to an individual. For example, a manager’s general comments about women, or a minority group, would likely constitute a hostile workplace. Quid pro quo (i.e. “this for that”) harassment is illegal, and occurs when an employment decision is based on the employees willingness, or unwillingness, to do something. Sexual harassment, for example, often involves quid pro quo harassment.
Hostile workplace law is fact specific, and there are many factors affecting a victim’s right to recovery. These include, the number of employees within the company, state and federal statutes of limitation; the position of the harasser in the company; notice to the employer etc.
Remedies for victims are set by state and federal law, and may include attorney’s fees and court costs. In Florida, the maximum recovery is $100.000. Under Federal law, the maximum recovery is $300,000. Recovery can also be non-monetary, such as a promotion; or elimination of the hostile behavior. The goal of the remedy is to place the victim in the situation he/she would be in, without the discrimination or harassment.
If you are experiencing harassment and/or discrimination at work, feel free to call 407-693-2050 for a complementary consultation.