New York City Lawyers Asserting the Rights of Workers
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the federal agency that administers claims arising out of certain federal anti-discrimination laws, including those that prohibit harassment on the basis of protected characteristics such as sex and race. In 2015, the EEOC received around 28,000 charges claiming harassment, which were about a third of the 90,000 total charges of employment discrimination that it got that year. In 2016, the EEOC issued a report from a Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace. The co-chairs were Victoria A. Lipnic and Chai R. Feldblum. The New York City workplace harassment lawyers at Phillips & Associates are staunch advocates for employees. We are familiar with the EEOC report on What We Know About Harassment. Our attorneys understand how degrading and financially costly workplace harassment can be.
The EEOC Report on What We Know About Harassment
The EEOC report grew out of a year in which the Select Task Force members and their witnesses worked to learn everything that they could about how to stop harassment in the workplace. The Select Task Force learned from lawyers, employers, advocates, investigators, industrial-organizational psychologists, trainers, and sociologists, among others. The report examined harassment based on sex, pregnancy, gender identity, sexual orientation, color, race, national origin, religion, disability, genetic information, and age. It did not focus solely on conduct that was legally actionable, but instead it looked at any offensive conduct that harmed an employee’s mental health, professional advancement, or work performance.
The harassment examined by the Select Task Force included slurs, offensive jokes, name calling, epithets, physical assaults, threats, undue attention, intimidation, mockery or ridicule, unwelcome contact or touching, constant or unwelcome questions about identity, insults, put-downs, and offensive graphics or objects. Large percentages of workers are harassed based on a protected characteristic. For instance, a substantial percentage of women reported sexual harassment in the workplace. The researchers concluded that some people do not identify specific types of unwelcome sexually based behaviors as sexual harassment, even when they see them as offensive or problematic. Over a third of lesbian, gay, or bisexual people who reported that they were open about their sexuality at work also reported harassment. Around half of trans people responding to the study reported harassment.
The report used three stories to illustrate harassment.
One of the stories was about Laudente Montoya, who faced harassment from a supervisor because he was Mexican. The supervisor disparaged him and a coworker for being Mexican and said that Mexicans were the reason why Americans have swine flu. When Mr. Montoya told his supervisor that a manager in a large corporation should not speak like this, the supervisor was dismissive. An area manager did not do anything when notified. When Mr. Montoya filed a charge with the EEOC, he was terminated.
Contonius Gill was a truck driver for a trucking company. His supervisor and others repeatedly used slurs and racial comments against him. He was called the n-word, “boy,” and “monkey.” A coworker showed him a noose and said that it was for him. White employees asked him if he wanted to be the “coon in a coon hunt.” Although he complained of this racial harassment to his dispatcher and general manager, the harassment did not stop, and he was terminated in retaliation for complaining.
Jacquelyn Hines was a single mother working temp jobs through agencies to support her family. While working at a supply-chain logistics company, she was sexually harassed by her employer. In addition to sexually explicit remarks, he made vulgar gestures and physically pressed himself on women. He threatened to fire anyone who complained to HR. When a coworker complained, she was terminated. When Ms. Hines asked the supervisor to stop, the temp agency contacted her about attendance issues, she lost pay, her hours were slashed, and she was terminated. When she applied and was hired at a different branch of the company in a different state, she was terminated soon after she started because the HR manager recognized her name from her job in the other state.
Contact an Employment Litigation Attorney in New York City
The EEOC report on What We Know About Harassment shows how prevalent workplace harassment is. You may be concerned about retaliation for reporting harassment, and the report shows that these fears are well-founded. However, our seasoned trial attorneys may be able to pursue remedies on your behalf, including monetary damages. If you were harassed on the job, you should discuss your situation with Phillips & Associates. Our attorneys represent workers in New York City, as well as Westchester, Nassau, and Suffolk Counties, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Call us at (866) 229-9441 or complete our online form.