Earlier this year, a federal jury in Florida awarded $630,000 to 14 female prison employees who alleged that the state Department of Corrections created a hostile work environment by failing to prevent lewd behavior by male inmates.
The law has been clear for years: Employers have to stop supervisors from harassing and also must investigate allegations of co-worker harassment and discipline the guilty parties.
Liability for nonemployees
But this new case, Beckford v. Florida, illustrates that Florida employers must go one step further. The court made it very clear that employers must ensure all employees have a harassment-free workplace, regardless of who the harasser is.
An all-male jury returned verdicts for 12 nurses, a physician and a prison classification officer, all of whom were female, awarding them $45,000 each for the emotional stress and mental anguish they sustained due to harassing behavior by “clos...(register to read more)