Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination and conduct unbecoming a public employee and is prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992, Sections 110.105, 110.112, 110.1221 and 110.233, 119.71(2)(g); 760.01, 760.05, 760.06 and 760.40 Florida Statutes, Department of Corrections Rules, Chapter 33-208, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.), and Department of Management Services Rules, Chapter 60L-40.001, F.A.C.
The Department of Corrections is committed to creating and maintaining a work environment free from sexual harassment. Accordingly, all Department employees are put on notice that sexually harassing behavior of any kind will not be tolerated.
This document provides Department employees with the information necessary to understand what sexual harassment is and what their rights and responsibilities are with regard to this issue.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidelines broadly define sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, offensive remarks about a person’s sex, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
The alleged conduct must be of a sexual nature and must be unwelcome or unwanted. Sexual harassment may include, but is not limited to, the following:
Complaints must be filed within 365 days (300 days if filing with EEOC) from the date the alleged harassment occurred. If the harassment was continuous, the complaint must be filed within 365 days (300 days if filing with EEOC) from the date of the most recent occurrence.
Any employee who believes s/he is a victim of sexual harassment has the right to file a formal complaint as prescribed in “Filing and Processing Discrimination Complaints,” Procedure 208.052.
Complaints filed with the Department must be filed with the Complaint Coordinator in the Employee Relations Section of the Office of Human Resources.
Formal complaints are initiated when an employee completes a “Discrimination Complaint,” DC2-881, obtained from Employee Relations staff or the Department’s intranet website. The Office of Inspector General may investigate and the Complaint Coordinator will notify the complainant of the resulting determination at the conclusion of the investigation.
An employee may withdraw her/his complaint at any time if the issues have been resolved to her/his satisfaction. Withdrawal of a formal complaint must be made in writing by submitting an “Internal Discrimination Complaint Withdrawal,” DC2-883 or a written request to withdraw her/his complaint to the Complaint Coordinator. The Agency, however, may continue with the investigation based upon the seriousness of the allegation(s).
Any employee who is found to have committed sexual harassment shall be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.
Any employee who fails to report her/his knowledge of sexual harassment to the appropriate authority shall be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.
Any employee who knowingly files a false complaint of sexual harassment shall be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. However, employees who have acted in good faith and on reasonable grounds believe that sexual harassment has occurred shall not be subject to discipline.
Any employee who is found to have committed sexual harassment may also be subject to penalties under federal and state law. S/he may be held personally liable for her/his misconduct through civil suit by the injured party and may also be subject to criminal prosecution.
Any employee who is found to have knowingly filed a false complaint of sexual harassment may be held personally liable for her/his misconduct through civil suit by the injured party and may also be criminally prosecuted.
Additionally, an employee who fails to use the Department’s internal complaint procedure or who does not file externally with the EEOC or the Florida Commission on Human Relations (FCHR) within the required timeframes may not be legally able to establish a claim of sexual harassment in a Title VII civil suit.
It is prohibited for any management official or other employee to retaliate against an employee with regard to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment either solely or in part because s/he filed a complaint or reported alleged sexual harassment. Any official or other employee found to have retaliated against an employee shall be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.
In addition to the Department’s internal procedures, an employee has the right to file a complaint alleging a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act with the EEOC or FCHR. Additional information regarding these options may be obtained from: