New York City Attorneys Fighting for Your Workplace Rights
Workplace sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that is legally prohibited. It can cause extreme emotional distress and can adversely affect work performance. In some cases, employees report this form of harassment but are not taken seriously. If you have been a victim of sexual harassment by a supervisor, coworker, customer, or client, you may be concerned about how to choose the best harassment attorney near you in New York City. At Phillips & Associates, our New York City harassment attorneys have handled many of these lawsuits. Below are Frequently Asked Questions designed to help you choose the best harassment attorney for you.
How to Choose the Best Sexual Harassment Attorney in New York?
It is important to find an attorney with substantial experience in workplace harassment lawsuits. In most cases, employers have greater resources than their workers, and they will have a team of knowledgeable attorneys helping them try to get out of a lawsuit. As a worker, you should have someone on your side who understands the laws that may apply to your situation and how to recover the greatest possible compensation for what you’ve experienced.
When searching for an attorney, you should find out how many harassment lawsuits they have handled in New York City, as well as which types of situations were involved in these cases. You should try to find out whether they have pursued remedies under federal, local, and New York state sexual harassment laws, in addition to how familiar they are with handling situations like yours. For example, if you were raped by a coworker, and when you reported it, your employer did not take sufficient steps to fix the situation, the lawsuit will probably require a different strategy than if your supervisor has been propositioning you and refuses to take no for an answer. The lawyer whom you pick should have experience pursuing damages in cases similar to yours.
What Behaviors are Considered Sexual Harassment?
The attorney whom you choose should be able to let you know whether the incidents that you experienced are sexual harassment and will be accepted as adequate by the court. Sexual harassment can include a wide range of offensive conduct, including unlawful touching, making offensive remarks about particular sex, rape, groping, repeatedly requesting dates or sex, posting graphic images, giving inappropriate gifts, or making jokes. The conduct at issue must either be so severe or pervasive that it creates a "hostile work environment,” or it must be "quid pro quo," which means that a supervisor or manager is trying to exchange job benefits for sexual favors.
When is an Employer Liable for Sexual Harassment?
Employers are liable for sexual harassment by supervisors and managers. An employer is considered liable for the acts of its agents even if it did not know about the harassment. An employer is always liable for a supervisor or manager's harassment if it culminates in a tangible adverse employment decision. For example, if you get passed over for a promotion because you refused your supervisor's sexual advances, your employer can be liable for this. When the harassment does not culminate in a tangible adverse employment decision, an employer might be able to raise the affirmative defense that the employer used reasonable care to stop and fix the harassment, but the employee unreasonably refused the preventive or corrective opportunities.
What are the Remedies for Sexual Harassment?
The attorney whom you choose should be familiar with all of the possible remedies for harassment. You may be able to recover back pay, fringe benefits, damages for emotional distress, and an injunction requiring your employer to initiate training to stop the harassment. However, under federal law, there is a cap on damages based on the size of your employer. You cannot recover punitive damages under state law. In many cases, you can recover the most extensive remedies under local law.
Explore Your Options with an Experienced New York City Lawyer
At Phillips & Associates, we may be able to help you if you are looking for the best sexual harassment attorney for you in New York City. We fight employment discrimination and harassment in the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island, as well as Nassau and Suffolk Counties, Westchester County, and New Jersey. Call (866) 229-9441 or contact us online to set up an appointment.