Tampa Sexual Harassment Attorney

The law firm of Cantrell Astbury Kranz, P.A., also known as Premier Litigators, provides top-tier representation to victims of workplace sexual harassment in Tampa and throughout Florida. We have significant experience and a successful track record in representing all types of individuals who have experienced workplace sexual harassment from entry and mid-level employees to senior level management, executives, and high-profile individuals.

A sexual harassment claim against an employer can often be asserted under both federal law and applicable Florida state laws. Under federal law, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act  defines sexual harassment as a form of sex discrimination prohibited in the workplace. Additionally, it is unlawful for an employer to retaliate against an employee for complaining about sexual harassment. Under Florida state law, the Florida Civil Rights Act (“FCRA”) Title XLIV  treats and analyzes sexual harassment claims in the same manner as federal law.

Sexual harassment may also be referred to as workplace harassment, a hostile, abusive, or toxic work environment, or sex discrimination. It is unlawful for a supervisor or business owner to sexually harass an employee. However, an employer can also be held liable for co-workers or even third parties (such as customers or contractors) who sexually harass an employee.

Victims of sexual harassment or a hostile work environment have recourse. Contact us for a free consultation with a Tampa sexual harassment attorney at 1-877-858-6868 or emailing us at coordinator@premierlitigators.com

Below is information about our credentials, examples of our experience, and Frequently Asked Questions concerning sexual harassment.

Why Hire Us

We have some of the top sexual harassment attorneys for victims of sexual harassment in Tampa, Florida and the surrounding areas, including St. Pete, Clearwater, and Sarasota. At Premier Litigators, our attorneys not only specialize in these types of cases, but they are also leaders in the field. For example:

  • Our attorneys regularly publish articles and educational materials on workplace sexual harassment and regularly provide training seminars to other professionals on the subject, including training human resources teams, business owners, and other attorneys.
  • Our attorneys are award winning and recognized for their excellence by their peers. Most have an “AV” rating by Martindale Hubbell (a peer-reviewed rating), are honored by Super Lawyers (a peer-reviewed rating) and have achieved “Best Lawyers” status by Best Lawyers  (a peer-reviewed rating).
  • Our attorneys have real and substantial experience. Collectively, our attorneys have represented hundreds of clients with discrimination or sexual harassment claims. Our Chief Trial Counsel, Warren Astbury , has conducted over 40 trials. All our other attorneys also have significant trial and/or arbitration experience and other attorneys regularly refer clients to our firm for employment law matters.

We do not rest on our credentials alone. Our attorneys are dedicated to remaining informed about developments in employment law and workplace sexual harassment law. Premier Litigators attorneys consistently participate in educational panels and cutting-edge practices on a monthly basis to ensure we are able to provide our clients with the best possible representation. Premier Litigators consists of hardworking and skilled employment law attorneys who have dedicated their careers to aiding their clients in navigating the challenging law of workplace sexual harassment and are diligent advocates in the courtroom. 

Types of Cases We Handle

Premier Litigators represents Tampa clients in a variety of employment law matters, focusing on representation of plaintiffs. Our employment law practice includes representing clients with workplace sexual harassment claims. 

In order to file a claim of sexual harassment in federal court, a plaintiff must first file a complaint (called a “charge of discrimination”) with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) , a Federal Agency, and complete the EEOC process. The EEOC has a field office in Tampa. However, we strongly advise that potential clients contact us before filing an EEOC complaint so that we can guide you through the process and ensure the EEOC complaint contains the most appropriate information. In Florida, one may also file a claim with the Florida Commission on Human Relations  under the FCRA.  

Not only do our attorneys handle workplace sexual harassment cases, but also other employment law claims.

Past Successes

Our past experience includes (but is not limited to):

  • Successfully obtained a six-figure settlement in a single-plaintiff sexual harassment and retaliation case where the female employee was forced to resign by her employer after complaining to management that she was shown explicit photos by a male co-worker.
  • Successfully obtained a six-figure settlement in a single-plaintiff race discrimination, harassment, and retaliation against an employer where the employer forced the employee to resign after he complained about race discrimination in the workplace.
  • Successfully obtained a six-figure settlement in single-plaintiff race discrimination, harassment, and retaliation case in involving an employee who was forced to resign after he reported to his employer that he saw a noose in the workplace.
  • Successfully obtained a mid-six-figure settlement in single-plaintiff disability discrimination, harassment, and retaliation case against a hospital where an employee was terminated for missing too many days of work while receiving cancer treatment.
  • Successfully resolved unlawful retaliation claims on behalf of a recruiter in the trucking industry, obtaining a six-figure settlement.

Frequently Asked Questions

The U.S. Supreme Court has long held that workplace sexual harassment is a form of unlawful discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Meritor Sav. Bank, FSB v. Vinson, 477 U.S. 57 (1986) .

In order to establish a claim for sexual harassment, a plaintiff must establish that: (i) the harassment occurred because of his or her sex; and (ii) the harassment was sufficiently severe or pervasive and created an abusive working environment.

According to the U.S. Supreme Court, harassment is sufficiently severe or pervasive when it is “so offensive as to alter the conditions of the victim’s employment.Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Servs., Inc., 523 U.S. 75, 81 (1998) .

This standard is obviously vague. In applying the standard, federal courts have articulated several factors to consider. Although these factors vary slightly among courts, most consider:

  1. The frequency of the conduct.
  2. The severity of the conduct.
  3. Whether the conduct is physically threatening or humiliating, or a mere offensive utterance.
  4. Whether the conduct unreasonably interferes with the employee’s job performance.

To illustrate, courts generally agree that a kiss on the lips by a supervisor can be sufficient to establish a sexual harassment claim. Although this may be an isolated incident, courts also typically acknowledge that there are few actions more offensive than an unwanted kiss by a supervisor. Additionally, any unwanted touching by a supervisor that is sexual in nature is not only a possible sexual harassment claim but may also constitute an unlawful sexual assault.

On the other hand, courts generally hold that a small handful of sexually related comments, even if directed towards the employee, are generally not sufficient to establish a sexual harassment claim. For example, in Scott v. Pizza Hut of American. Inc., 92 F. Supp. 2d 1320 (M.D. Fla. 2000) a Florida federal court held that a female pizza driver in Tampa was subject to sexual harassment when co-workers implied she was a prostitute or needed to “go out and get some sex”, because the conduct was not physically threatening or sufficiently humiliating, and conduct did not unreasonably interfere with her job performance. 

The following is a non-exhaustive list of actions that are unacceptable in the workplace and may constitute unlawful sexual harassment or unlawful sexual assault under certain circumstances:

  • Unprompted comments or questions that are sexual in nature
  • Sex jokes
  • Unwanted physical contact of a sexual nature (e.g., kisses, hugs, butt or genital touching, rape)
  • Pressing parts of one’s body against another in any sexual way
  • Repeatedly asking someone else
  • Repeated compliments on someone’s looks
  • Asking for sexual favors
  • Inappropriate communications after work hours
  • Repeatedly asking someone out on a date
  • Surprise dates under the pretense of a “work meeting”
  • Suggestive text messages or emails
  • Unwanted or inappropriate gifts of a romantic nature

If you believe you are a victim of workplace sexual harassment in Tampa or Hillsborough County, Florida, contact us immediately at 1-877-858-6868 or emailing us at coordinator@premierlitigators.com

If you have experienced sexual harassment at work, inform your employer and as appropriate, your supervisor(s) and HR. Ideally, verbal complaints should also be memorialized in a follow-up written complaint.

If the unwanted conduct does not cease, or if the conduct was so severe that you feel an attorney is needed, contact Premier Litigators and speak with one of our Tampa employment lawyers. Initial consultations are free. Call today at 1-877-858-6868 or emailing us at coordinator@premierlitigators.com

Yes. A claim for sexual harassment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act is not limited to only harassment by supervisors or business owners. Employers can also be held liable for harassment by non-management, including co-workers and even third parties such as customers and contractors.

The legal test for whether a company can be liable for sexual harassment by someone who is not in management includes two questions: First, did the company know or the company should have known about the sexual harassment? Secondly, if so, did the employer then take immediate and appropriate corrective action?  

Tampa employers have a legal obligation to stop workplace sexual harassment that they know about or should have reasonably known about and can be held liable if they do not fulfill this obligation.

An individual can sue their employer for sexual harassment even if the individual quit their job under the concept of constructive discharge. In establishing constructive discharge, an individual must demonstrate that the workplace conditions were so unacceptable that a reasonable person would also feel compelled to resign.

Individuals who want to file a workplace sexual harassment lawsuit are required by law to first file a complaint (a “Charge of Discrimination”) and complete the EEOC review process under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. We strongly recommend that individuals retain an employment attorney to assist them in the EEOC process and ensure that all the appropriate information is provided and that all appropriate claims are asserted. In Florida, may also file a claim with the Florida Commission on Human Relations under the FCRA.

Depending on the circumstances, there will be either a 180-day or 300-day statute of limitations on filing a complaint with the EEOC. This means you will have 180 days or 300 days from the date the harassment occurred to file a claim with the EEOC. Under Florida law, you will have 365 days from the date the harassment occurred to file a claim under the FCRA with the Florida Commission on Human Relations. Similarly, to the EEOC, this requires an administrative process prior to filing a lawsuit.

After a complaint is filed, the EEOC will notify the employer and provide the employer 10 days to respond to the complaint. 

An EEOC investigator will conduct an investigation into the harassment and will then make a finding on the merits of the sexual harassment claim. One of two potential results is possible:

  1. If the EEOC states that they are unable to conclude that there is reasonable cause to believe that unlawful sexual harassment occurred, the complaining party and employer will be issued a notice called a Dismissal and Notice of Rights. This notice informs the complaining party that he or she has the right to file a lawsuit in federal court within 90 days. 
  1. If the EEOC states that based on their investigation, there is reasonable cause to believe unlawful sexual harassment occurred, the EEOC will issue a Letter of Determination stating their conclusion and inviting the parties to join the EEOC in resolving the complaint through an informal process known as conciliation.

If a lawsuit is filed, it can often take one to two years to complete the entire lawsuit process, which may include a trial. Formal mediation also typically happens after a lawsuit is filed, providing the parties with another opportunity to resolve the dispute. Most claims of sexual harassment are resolved before trial. However, if an employer is unwilling to provide fair compensation, then a trial may be the best option to pursue.

The employment lawyers at Premier Litigators have substantial experience with the EEOC and FRCA complaint processes and a track record of successfully resolving sexual harassment lawsuits on behalf of clients in Tampa and throughout Florida. As the complaint process can be quite complex, we strongly advise potential clients to speak with an attorney prior to filing a complaint.

Contact us today by calling 1-877-858-6868 or emailing us at coordinator@premierlitigators.com

Damages available for workplace sexual harassment claims depend on the circumstances and can vary from case to case. Generally, the following types of damages may be recoverable under federal law:

  • Back pay
  • Cost incurred related to the lawsuit
  • Out of pocket costs associated with finding new employment
  • Mental anguish
  • Attorneys’ fees
  • Fringe Benefits that would have been received
  • Punitive damages

Premier Litigators Tampa employment law attorneys are experienced in representing victims of sexual harassment. For a free consultation, contact us at 1-877-858-6868 or emailing us at coordinator@premierlitigators.com

Tampa, Florida Courts

Tampa  is Florida’s third-most populous city with an estimated 394,809 residents. Tampa sits on Florida’s Gulf Coast and is a part of Hillsborough County . Tampa is a part of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida , a federal court in the Eleventh Circuit  and is represented in state court by the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Court  in Hillsborough County. Most sexual harassment claims can be asserted under both federal and state law, but plaintiffs must first file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a federal agency with a field office in Tampa.  

To speak with one of our experienced Tampa workplace sexual harassment lawyers, contact us at 1-877-858-6868 or emailing us at coordinator@premierlitigators.com


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