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Sexual harassment and employees' rights

Sexual harassment in the workplace has been a long-standing issue in the United States, but the issue of sexual harassment itself is complex and can include more incidents than many might assume. In Florida, the legal system considers sexual harassment a form of discrimination. The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission also protects employees from any sort of verbal or physical harassment in the workplace. 

The Florida Department of Management Services provides a handbook on sexual harassment in the workplace. Referring to Title VII of the Federal Civil Rights of 1964 that prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin, the DMS confirms that sexual harassment is, in fact, a form of discrimination. The handbook then lists the types of sexual harassment, and categorizes two types of harassment through the following: Quid Pro Quo sexual harassment, which occurs when the harasser is in a position of authority and uses that authority for his or her own sexual favors, and hostile environment sexual harassment, in which the harasser exhibits hostile misconduct that unreasonably interferes with an individual's work performance or creates a hostile environment.

An article in The American Lawyer recognizes the issue of sexual harassment and the overwhelming number of cases that occur in the country. The American Lawyer refers to experts from The Harvard Business Review, who urge women experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace to record all instances of harassment and to inform trusted friends and family. However, according to The American Lawyer, employment discrimination cases have the lowest win rate for plaintiffs of any civil cause of action. In addition, no industry is exempt from such instances of harassment; the article notes that corporations and big law are also common industries in which sexual harassment is reported, as well. 

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