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Florida House Approves Anti-Sexual Harassment Bill

Litigation

On March 1st, 2018, the Florida House of Representatives unanimously passed a major ethics reform bill. HB 7007 is designed to prevent and punish sexual harassment and sexual misconduct.

These proposed reforms follow a string of high-profile sexual abuse and sexual misconduct allegations that have come to light this year, both inside and outside of government. Indeed, multiple Florida legislators have been forced to resign due to sexual misconduct allegations within the past twelve months.

While this bill has overwhelming support in Florida House, it could still face some serious hurdles in the Florida State Senate. Similar legislation was blocked in the Senate earlier this year by a powerful committee chairman. It remains to be seen if he will allow a new bill to go forward. The sponsors and supporters of the house bill have stated that they are committed to finding a solution to give their legislation life in the Senate.

This Bill Gives Florida the Power to Ban Lobbyists and Contractors

For the most part, this new anti-sexual harassment legislation is aimed at ‘cleaning up’ state government. It gives ethics committees significant power to investigate and punish allegations of sexual misconduct among state official. Beyond that, it is also worth noting that this bill has important implications for Florida businesses. In its current form, this bill gives the state the power to permanently ban lobbyists and contractors from doing work in Florida if there are credible sexual misconduct accusations. As with all bills that are still working their way through the legislative process, there are still questions over precisely how this bill would be applied. 

Government Contracts are Complicated  

The proposed anti-sexual harassment bill is an instructive example of the immense complexities involved in government contracting and procurement. In the modern world, federal, state, and local governments are involved in many different sectors of the economy, from land development to health care. Unsurprisingly, there are many companies all around the state of Florida that rely on government contracts as a key part of their overall business strategy.

Government contracts always come with a unique set of performance challenges. If your South Florida business is contracting with state or local governments, It is imperative that you are properly prepared. You need to have a full understanding of all of the issues that come along with such a contract. To ensure that the rights of your business are fully protected, it is highly recommended that your company consults with a Florida commercial litigation attorney who has relevant experience handling government contracts.

We Represent Businesses Throughout South Florida

At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our skilled Florida business litigation attorneys are committed to providing top quality legal representation. We have deep experience handling government contracting and procurement issues. If your South Florida company is in need of legal help, please contact our law firm today to get a free, no obligation case evaluation. With offices in West Palm Beach and Miami, our legal team is ready to protect your business.

Resource:

myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=60636

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