How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Juliana Your Own Question

Juliana
Juliana, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 1651
Experience:  23 years of experience; former prosecutor, magistrate, child support attorney
17008935
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Juliana is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

In Florida what constitutes harassment in the workplace and

Resolved Question:

In Florida what constitutes harassment in the workplace and a hostile work environment?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Juliana replied 3 years ago.

Hello,

 

Thanks for your question.

 

In Florida, an employee has a right to be free from harassment that is based on being a member of a "protected class," that is, based on the employee's sex, age, race, handicap/disability, national origin, and religion. For example, if an employer treats an employee unfairly because she is a woman, or because he is a Native American, or because she is a Methodist, that could be harassment based on being a member of a protected class. General, random harassment by an employer is not the basis for a legal action.

 

Harassment created by a hostile environment is more common. Both federal and Florida state laws make it unlawful for an employer to subject an employee to a hostile environment based on the protected classes previously described, for example, where an employer repeatedly subjects a female employee to inappropriate jokes, constant talk about sex, asking her out on dates, etc. To constitute a legal claim based on a hostile environment, the conduct must be either severe or pervasive. So, if an employer tells a woman one dirty joke on one occasion, that would likely not constitute a hostile environment.

 

And, if there was no unwanted physical contact between the employer and employee (for instance, a male employer who gives a female employee a backrub), the employee must show that inappropriate comments or other verbal behavior by the employer was constant, even occurring on a daily basis, in order to prove a claim based on a hostile environment.

 

Hope this helps.

Juliana

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I did not ask about sexual harassment. What about degrading and alienating an employee through other co workers? That type of harassment.
Expert:  Juliana replied 3 years ago.

You asked about the laws concerning harassment and a hostile work environment. I only used sexual harassment for explanation purposes.

 

As I stated in my previous post, in order to have a valid claim for workplace harassment, the harassment must be based on your sex, your age, your race, your religion, your national origin, or the fact that you have a handicap/disability -- that is, a protected class. The hostile environment that is allegedly created by the employer must be based on one of these protected classes.

 

Yes, it would be possible for an employer to use other employees to create a hostile work environment. I'm going to use another example here, and again, I'm not saying this specifically applies to you -- I'm only using it to illustrate what I'm explaining. For instance, an employer could tell an employee's co-workers not to sit with him at lunch because the employee is black, or the employer could tell incite the co-workers to make jokes about the employee because she is a female, or things of that nature.

 

So, to answer your specific question, yes, it is possible for an employer to harass an employee through his/her co-workers.

Juliana, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 1651
Experience: 23 years of experience; former prosecutor, magistrate, child support attorney
Juliana and 8 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it. Lee Michigan
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8436
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8436
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    19941
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FL/FLAandNYLawyer/2012-1-27_14349_3Fotolia25855429M.64x64.jpg FiveStarLaw's Avatar

    FiveStarLaw

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    8189
    25 years of experience helping people like you.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/jespoag/2008-12-17_222355_jessepic.jpg JPEsq's Avatar

    JPEsq

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    2132
    Experience as general attorney, in house counsel, SSDI, Family Law attorney, and law professor
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/gsenmartin/2008-04-22_214950_me1.jpg Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.'s Avatar

    Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    110
    7+ years of experience handling various legal matters.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PA/PaulmoJD/2013-10-10_195858_JAImage.64x64.jpg Law Educator, Esq.'s Avatar

    Law Educator, Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    31621
    JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    15975
    Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.