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When Jokes at Work Become a Florida Sexual Harassment ClaimClient-Focused & Passionate Representation

When Jokes at Work Become a Florida Sexual Harassment Claim


People come from different backgrounds, and they bring their unique experiences to the workplace. As a result, what may be a joke to one person could be highly offensive to another. This is especially true with comments of a sexual nature or which pertain to a person’s sex. Jokes can even rise to the level of harassment under the definition established by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Misconduct includes unwelcome advances and requests for sexual favors, but the laws also cover verbal harassment of a sexual nature.

Therefore, off-color, sordid jokes could be offensive enough to become sexual harassment. The controlling issue is the context of the comments, which is unique to every situation. You should not have to suffer mistreatment in the workplace, so you do have legal remedies. It is important to discuss your circumstances with a Palm Beach Gardens sexual harassment lawyer to determine your options. Some answers to frequently asked questions will help you understand how a joke could become sexual harassment.

When is a joke sexual harassment? There are two forms of sexual harassment, and jokes are of the type that could create a hostile work environment. Seedy, sexually linked comments can reach a certain level where others are extremely uncomfortable, offended, and upset. It can even affect employee performance, as well as employee morale as a whole.

 What if it was just one joke or comment? To create a hostile work environment, the jokes and sexual innuendo must be pervasive, frequent, and ongoing. A single incident of a sex-related joke may not be enough to make the workplace hostile, unless the content is so egregious that no reasonable person could tolerate such an affront. The conduct must continue frequently enough that the environment becomes offensive and intimidating.

 Does the joke have to target someone specific? It is not necessary that the joking be directed at other employees, a single worker, an employer’s customer, or any other party that may be present in the workplace. If a joke is made and it creates a hostile workplace, you could be subjected to sexual harassment. Both men and women can be the targets, as well as the offenders.

 What should I do? If you believe jokes at your workplace have gone too far, you should consult with a lawyer right away about your remedies. You may qualify to file a sexual harassment charge with the EEOC, which will investigate and determine whether there is a violation. It is possible to settle in many of these cases, enabling you to recover monetary damages for your losses. You can also request equitable relief, including reinstatement or an injunction about sexual jokes in the workplace.

Contact Our Florida Sexual Harassment Attorneys to Learn More

One of the most important tasks is reaching out to an experienced employment lawyer about jokes and sexual harassment. Our team at Sconzo Law Office serves employees throughout Palm Beach County, so we are ready to enforce your rights. Please contact us at 561-279-6114 or go online to set up a free case review.

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