You expect your employer to provide you with a reasonably safe work environment, free from hazards. That should include a workplace free from sexual assault and harassment. Unfortunately, women and men who experience sexual assault in the workplace might fear retaliation and don’t always come forward to share their stories and seek the justice that they deserve.

At Lehrman Law, our Florida sexual assault attorneys are here for you. We take the time to listen to your story and help you work through the emotional and legal aspects of filing a sexual assault claim. We understand that coming forward with sexual assault allegations is challenging, especially when the place that writes your paychecks is involved. We are committed to handling your case sensitively while delivering aggressive and comprehensive legal representation.

You deserve justice and compensation for your injuries and financial losses. Discuss your situation with a Florida sexual assault in the workplace attorney from Lehrman Law today. Your consultation is confidential. 

What Is Sexual Assault?

The term “sexual assault” is difficult to pin down in legal terms because it’s a broad term used to describe numerous types of behavior and acts. Typically, sexual assault is defined as any form of unwanted sexual contact or sexual contact initiated when an individual cannot understand what’s happening or give consent. Criminal charges stemming from sexual assault can include a wide range of offenses.

Types of Sexual Assault  

Florida does not have a criminal statute labeled “sexual assault.” Instead, several types of offenses fall under the umbrella of sexual assault but have unique criminal offense designations. Examples of sexual assault can include:

  • Rape
  • Statutory rape
  • Fondling or unwanted sexual touching
  • Forcing someone to perform sex acts such as oral sex
  • Indecent exposure
  • Child molestation
  • Sexual battery
  • Stalking

Sexual assault in any capacity is traumatic. However, sexual assault in the workplace can make victims feel especially vulnerable because their safety and their livelihood are on the line. Many people feel unsafe coming forward with allegations of sexual assault at work because they fear retaliation or persecution from supervisors and co-workers. Victims of sexual assault at work may also fear coming forward because of feelings of shame or guilt over the incident. Some may even be intimidated and threatened into silence.

You are entitled to a safe workplace free from violence, sexual assault, and harassment. If you’ve experienced unwanted sexual interactions at work or work functions, talk to a compassionate Florida sexual assault attorney today.  

What Is Sexual Harassment? 

Sexual harassment is different from sexual assault but is still prominent in Florida workplaces. Some studies suggest that as many as 38 percent of women and 14 percent of men have experienced some form of sexual harassment in the workplace. Even more shocking, other studies show that over 75 percent of people who experience sexual harassment never file a formal complaint, and nearly 70 percent of employees never complain internally.

What is sexual harassment, and how does it differ from sexual assault in the workplace? Sexual harassment is also illegal. However, harassment involves behaviors, conduct, or speech of a sexual nature that makes workers feel unsafe or uncomfortable. Florida recognizes sexual harassment in two forms: creating a hostile work environment and quid pro quo.

Sexual harassment in the workplace can include:

  • Unwanted sexual advances
  • Requests for sexual favors
  • Requests for sexual favors in exchange for something of value to the employee
  • Verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature
  • Sexually explicit jokes
  • Lewd gestures
  • Offensive objects, photographs, or videos

Sexual harassment in the workplace can also create an unsafe and uncomfortable environment for employees.

What Can You Do About Sexual Assault in the Workplace?

First and foremost, you should report sexual assault to the authorities. Law enforcement can take your statement and gather evidence of the incident. It is crucial to understand that there are two distinct paths forward following a sexual assault: one is criminal, and one is civil. The state decides whether to move forward with pursuing criminal charges against an individual accused of sexual assault violations.

As a victim of sexual assault in the workplace, you also have the option of filing a personal injury lawsuit against the accused or other liable parties to recover compensation for your injuries and financial losses. A personal injury lawsuit falls into the category of civil cases, which are separate from criminal matters and can be pursued by an individual even if a criminal case is also in the works.

In criminal cases, a jury determines the guilt or innocence of the accused based on the evidence presented by the prosecution and the defense. When an individual is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, that person faces criminal penalties for their actions.

Civil cases involving sexual assault are different. The burden of evidence is lower than in criminal cases. You must only prove by a preponderance of the evidence that it is more likely than not that an individual or company is liable for the sexual assault. Additionally, if the individual or company is found accountable, instead of criminal penalties, they are responsible for paying compensation to the victim for such losses as medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional distress.

How a Florida Attorney Can Help 

Sexual assault victims have legal rights. At Lehrman Law, we are committed to offering robust and aggressive legal representation to sexual assault survivors. We understand the challenges individuals face when they want to come forward and fight for justice. We advocate for sexual assault survivors and fight to pursue the compensation they deserve. Our seasoned attorneys can: 

  • Thoroughly investigate the incident
  • Gather and preserve vital evidence
  • Identify all potentially liable parties
  • Manage communication with the attorney/insurer for the other side
  • Provide personalized legal advice and guidance
  • Help you find support to prevent retraumatization
  • Aggressively pursue maximum compensation on your behalf 

We understand Florida’s complex legal system and can help you through the legal process with compassion. 

Contact an Experienced Florida Sexual Assault Attorney Today 

Have you experienced sexual assault in the workplace? The Florida sexual assault attorneys at Lehman Law are here to help you. We offer compassionate and responsive service to the sexual assault survivors we serve. Let us help you pursue justice. Contact our office today for a confidential consultation.