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Does Sexual Harassment Need to Occur During Work Hours to Be Unlawful?Client-Focused & Passionate Representation

Does Sexual Harassment Need to Occur During Work Hours to Be Unlawful?


The Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992 (FCRA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 both provide protections against sex discrimination in hiring and employment practices, and prohibitions against sex discrimination include prohibitions against sexual harassment. Since sexual harassment can take different forms, it is often difficult for employees who have experienced sexual harassment to feel confident moving forward with a claim (or even seeking legal advice) because they do not know if the behavior they have been subject to is enough to rise to the level of unlawful discrimination. Our Palm Beach Gardens sexual harassment lawyers want to emphasize that sexual harassment can be overt or subtle, and there are a wide range of actionable cases involving sexual harassment. As such, you should always talk to a lawyer who can assess your case whenever you have concerns.

In addition to being subtle under many circumstances, some types of unlawful sexual harassment can also occur outside regular working hours. We want to provide you with more information about some of the situations in which sexual harassment can be unlawful and actionable even though it did not occur while you were on the clock.

Business Trips and Work Events Outside Regular Working Hours 

Almost anytime you are at a work function or on a business trip outside working hours — regardless of what your typical working hours are — an employer can be liable for discrimination that occurs in those settings.

For example, if you attend a team-building workshop with other co-workers over a weekend, or attend an employee retreat, your employer can be responsible for sexual harassment perpetrated by a supervisor, a co-worker, or even a client or customer at the event. In addition, if you are on a business trip and experience sexual harassment that would be unlawful if it occurred in your regular workplace during your regular working hours, you certainly may be able to file a sexual harassment claim.

Quid Pro Quo Harassment and Supervisor Communications 

In general, when you are not at work and are not involved in a work-related activity (like a work event or a business trip as discussed above), sexual harassment perpetrated by a co-worker will not typically be actionable. For instance, if you regularly encounter a co-worker at your neighborhood gym, and your co-worker makes continuous statements and comments that would likely rise to the level of creating a hostile work environment if they occurred at work, it is unlikely that you can file a sexual harassment claim under employment discrimination laws.

However, it is critical to know that quid pro quo harassment involving a supervisor or employer can be actionable whenever and wherever it happens. If your supervisor frequents the same neighborhood gym as you and offers you a better work schedule in exchange for a sexual favor, you should talk to an employment discrimination attorney about filing a sexual harassment claim.

Contact a Palm Beach Gardens Sexual Harassment Attorney 

If you have had any kind of experienced in your workplace that you believe may constitute unlawful sexual harassment, it is important to talk with an attorney. An experienced Palm Beach Gardens sexual harassment lawyer at Sconzo Law Office can speak with you today. Contact us to learn more about the services we provide to employees facing discrimination and harassment in South Florida workplaces.




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