Brittany Stevens Addresses What You Should Do if Your Boss Is Sexually Harassing You in New York With Super Lawyers
Brittany Stevens is an associate attorney at Phillips & Associates who practices in the area of employment litigation. Ms. Stevens handles a wide variety of cases, including cases arising out of sexual harassment. She recently addressed the question of what you should do if your boss is sexually harassing you in New York with Super Lawyers. Super Lawyers is a rating service that identifies the top attorneys in each state in various practice areas and engages those attorneys to answer pertinent questions. In 2018, Ms. Stevens was recognized as a Rising Star by Super Lawyers.
What Is Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment in the workplace is never acceptable, but when the harassing behavior comes from your boss, it can be especially concerning. Sexual harassment is a term used to encompass a broad range of unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that creates a hostile work environment or adversely affects a person’s employment. Sexual harassment is not limited to a particular class of people and can affect anyone, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation. Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination that is barred by federal, state, and local laws.
Ms. Stevens explained that there are many examples of behavior that constitutes sexual harassment, such as your boss or supervisor touching you without your consent, sending you sexually explicit texts or emails, or asking you for sexual favors. Additionally, unsolicited comments about your body or appearance, questions about your sexual history, and viewing pornography at work also may constitute sexual harassment. If your boss refuses to promote you or denies you a raise because you rejected his or her sexual advances, that is sexual harassment as well.
Harassment by People in Positions of Authority
As pointed out by Ms. Stevens, a high number of the sexual harassment cases in New York involve harassment by a supervisor or another figure of authority in the workplace. This is likely because the imbalance of power between a worker and a supervisor can create an environment in which it is easy for the supervisor to threaten to harm the worker’s career if he or she reports the harassing behavior. Notably, an authority figure does not need to be an employee’s direct supervisor for an imbalance of power to exist. Instead, whenever the harasser is higher up in the organization than the person whom he or she is harassing, the victim may feel pressured to permit the harassment to avoid facing adverse employment consequences.
What You Should Do if Your Boss Is Sexually Harassing You
If your boss is sexually harassing you, Ms. Stevens set forth several steps that you can take to help put an end to the harassment. First, you should document the harassment and gather any available evidence of each instance of harassment that occurred. Screenshots of any sexually explicit texts or emails, witness statements, and detailed journal entries are examples of evidence that can support your case if you pursue a harassment claim. Additionally, you should report the harassment to anyone in your workplace who is higher in the chain of command than your harasser.
Ms. Stevens advised that you should file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) if you are a victim of sexual harassment by your boss. It is important to note that you must file an EEOC claim within 180 days of the harassing behavior, or you will waive the right to pursue a claim. Filing an EEOC claim is an essential step before filing a federal lawsuit against your boss to pursue damages caused by his or her sexual harassment.
Protections for New York City Employees
Ms. Stevens explained that numerous laws offer protections for employees who are victims of sexual harassment in New York City. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 provides federal protection to employees, while the New York State Human Rights Law and the New York City Human Rights Law protect employees at the state and local levels, respectively. The city law is one of the broadest anti-discrimination laws in the country, and the state law recently has been modified to resemble it in many ways. Employees who are victims of sexual harassment in New York City may be able to pursue claims for damages against their boss or employer based on violations of some or all of these laws.
Speak With a Skilled New York Attorney Regarding Your Legal Options
People who work in New York City have broad protections against many types of discriminatory behavior, including sexual harassment. Ms. Stevens and the other attorneys at Phillips & Associates can help you pursue a claim for the compensation that you are owed. You can contact our firm at (866) 229-9441 or through the online form to schedule a consultation to discuss your case. We assist victims of sexual harassment in the workplace in New York City, as well as in Westchester, Nassau, and Suffolk Counties, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
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