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New Florida law and sexual harassment in the workplace

Workers in Miami, Florida, most likely know that sexual harassment in the workplace is wrong, and employers work to protect employees from such issues through training and strong policies. When sexual harassment does occur, employees have rights for seeking protection and resolution of the issue. But what happens in the virtual workspace?

As companies across the country are moving to global work forces and telecommuting is becoming more popular in all types of industries, the Internet is becoming as much a workplace as an actual office is. Many organizations have physical offices in disparate locations, requiring workers to collaborate via email, web portals and even social media.

What happens when someone sexually harasses another worker via email or a social network? Social networks such as Slack have become popular for professional teams, so it just isn't a worry about what someone might post on Facebook. In all honestly, these are new frontiers for many employers, making it important for employers and impacted employees to seek expert help with issues of sexual harassment in a virtual workplace.

Some questions that might come up about virtual harassment include whether or not the person doing the harassing was on company time or using a platform sponsored by the company. Regardless of the relationship of the harassing behavior to the work, the person might face criminal penalties. A new law in Florida makes sexual cyberharassment a first-degree misdemeanor. The law makes posting lewd or pornographic pictures of another person and including identifying information about the person illegal.

Understanding your rights as a worker is important. Whether you work in a traditional environment or an online one, you are protected from certain types of behavior.

Source: WPTV, "New Florida laws tackle 'cyberharassment,' sex trafficking," Jim Turner, Oct. 01, 2015

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