Are you filing an employment claim in Florida? Read these 4 ways to get ahead on your sexual harassment case, then give us a call today.
1. Choosing The Right Attorney
Sexual harassment cases are very fact-specific and very detail-oriented, and they usually involve an investigative period for the law firm who is handling the claim. Make sure your lawyer is licensed to practice in federal court, as well as state court, to handle your sexual harassment claim.
The best lawyer to handle your claim (as in most claims) would be a lawyer who is going to effectively communicate with you. Are you going to see your lawyer at the initial consultation? Is he going to address the issues that you have and the questions that you have? Not all of your questions may be able to be answered at the initial consult, and certainly your case will not be able to be fully evaluated at that initial consult, but communication is essential, especially for cases like this that usually turn on witnesses and are very fact-specific.
2. How to File Charges
There are two tribunals that hear these types of claims. One of them is the Florida Commission on Human Relations, the other one is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Most of the sexual harassment cases will start there. You need a lawyer who is experienced in sexual harassment cases, and who is licensed to practice in both state and federal court, to handle these cases.
Generally speaking, from the last day that the last sexual harassment activity occurred, you have 300 days to report it to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and 365 days to report it to the Florida Commission on Human Relations.
3. Hostile Work Environments
One person’s definition of harassment and hostile work environment is not necessarily the same as another person’s definition, therefore you need to consult with an attorney. If you feel like you’ve been harassed at work, you need to report it immediately to your supervisor. The employer has to know what is going on specifically, and you should do it in writing.
When you come to the consult, bring it with you. Bring your log of what’s happened because ultimately, if it’s more than one thing that’s going on in the office, the employer needs to know. If the employer doesn’t know, there’s usually no case.
4. Damages Available
There’s a Florida statute and a federal statute that govern these types of cases.
To make it as simple as possible, generally speaking, the damages are, number one, lost wages. If an employee loses their job because of the harassment or is forced out of their job because the harassment became intolerable, for instance, they would be able to recoup the difference in the wages that they were earning at the time of separation through the time that the case is resolved. Sometimes, that changes, depending on the circumstances.
There are also compensatory damages— damages for things that’s hard to put a specific dollar amount on, intangible items like inconvenience, suffering, mental anguish. Those are all elements that are considered in these types of claims. Attorneys’ fees and costs sometimes are awarded in sexual harassment cases, as well.
You need a lawyer that’s going to communicate with you from the beginning to discuss these issues, discuss your case, and talk to you about the complex process of navigating a sexual harassment case in Florida.
Are you or a loved one in the process of filing an employment claim in Florida and have questions about 4 ways to get ahead on your sexual harassment case? Contact experienced Florida sexual harassment lawyers at Serrano Law today for a free consultation and case evaluation.
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