How can sexual harassment training in the workplace protect my company from liability in Florida?
Florida Sexual Harassment Training Requirements: While Florida doesn’t have any specific legal requirement for sexual harassment training, sexual harassment training in the workplace is highly recommended as it can reduce laibility to employers and help prevent sexual harassment altogether.
The EEOC is the federal governing body that describes and enforces sexual harassment and discrimination laws. Read more at (EEOC Harassment). According to the EEOC sexual harassment and other forms of employment discrimination violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, (ADEA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, (ADA).
In 2018, 31.9% of the 6,617 workplace discrimination charges reported in Florida were related to sexual harassment. These 2,113 charges made up 8.6% of all sexual harassment charges reported in the US that year.
In Tampa, two restaurants were investigated based off of complaints filed with the EEOC by two teenage sisters who worked there. The employers were found in violation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and other federal anti-discrimination laws. They were made to pay $525,000 in a settlement. In addition, the employers were put under a consent decree requiring them to provide sexual harassment training, posting of notices, and sexual harassment monitoring provisions, none of which were in place before. This underscores the need for structured sexual harassment training in order to reduced liability to employers and prevent sexual harassment all together. For more information visit the EEOC Newsroom Website.
These sexual harassment cases and lawsuits are not restricted to private employers. In 2019, the Florida State Senate paid $900,000 in a settlement to a senate staffer who reported being sexually harassed by a senator. She filed a complaint with the EEOC against the Florida Legislature stating that she was harassed and subsequently subject to retaliatory action. It also stated that the Senate “knew, or should have known, of the unlawful conduct of Senator Latvala and did not take any steps to prevent his abuses and protect its employees.” For more, read the Miami Herald Story.
- Implementing a strong and well understood sexual harassment policy.
- Providing a robust sexual harassment training program for training employees and supervisors.
- Establishing an effective complaint and grievance process, within which the employees do not have to fear retaliation.
- An employer should act Immediately to investigate any complaint or grievance.
- The employer should take immediate steps such as disciplinary action to stop harassment.
- Employees should be encouraged to confront the harasser directly and inform them that the conduct is inappropriate as well as informing management and Human Resources
Sexual Harassment Training Tip: Prevention is the BEST tool.
By ensuring that employees understand and are well trained in workplace sexual harassment policies, employers can greatly reduce their chances of being liable for monetary damages in sexual harassment cases.
Our onsite Sexual Harassment training seminars are also available in the following Florida hotels:
225 E. Coastline Dr.
Jacksonville, FL, 32202
Hilton Miami Downtown
1601 Biscayne Blvd.
Miami, FL, 33132
Caribe Royals Orlando
8901 World Center Dr.
Orlando, FL, 32821
Holiday Inn Express
8310 Galbraith Rd, I-75 at Bruce B. Downs Blvd.
Tampa, FL, 33641