When you go to work, you should not need to be afraid of being harassed based on a protected characteristic, such as your gender. Gender harassment is unlawful in New York City workplaces. It can be difficult to go up against your employer in a gender harassment claim because companies typically have greater resources than individual workers do. If you faced gender harassment on the job, you should consult the New York City gender harassment lawyers at Phillips & Associates. We are seasoned trial attorneys who fight for workers’ rights.Gender Harassment Under City Law
The New York City Human Rights Law prohibits a hostile work environment based on gender harassment, which exists if you are treated less well than other employees due to your gender. The relevant question when analyzing gender harassment cases is whether a reasonable person would find that the discriminatory conduct in question amounted to more than trivial inconveniences or petty slights. Only truly insubstantial conduct will fall outside the scope of the New York City Human Rights Law.
Factors that affect an analysis under city law include how often the discriminatory actions occurred, their severity, whether they were humiliating or physically threatening or simply offensive, and whether they unreasonably interfered with your work performance. Psychological harm is relevant, but it is not dispositive. The totality of the circumstances and the context of the harassing conduct matter.
When a supervisor constantly exposed a funeral home worker to a barrage of sexual commentary referencing male genitalia, for example, the exposure was found to be substantial enough to constitute actionable harassment. Emails that contained even mildly offensive sexual media content were also found to violate the city law. A gender harassment attorney in New York City can help you bring a claim even if you did not suffer an adverse career impact.State and Federal Laws
You may also have a claim for gender harassment under the New York State Human Rights Law or Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Gender harassment may involve claimants asserting gender identity harassment. New York state law expressly protects against gender identity harassment. Title VII does not provide express protection, but it does protect against harassment based on a failure to abide by gender stereotypes, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) provides that gender identity and sexual orientation harassment are subsets of gender harassment.
Under federal and state laws, actionable harassment may be perpetrated by people of either gender, and they may or may not be the same gender as the victim. However, the standards for a hostile work environment are higher for state and federal claims than the standard for claims under the city law. You will need to show that the harassing conduct to which you were exposed was severe or pervasive, such that it created a hostile work environment. Alternatively, your New York City gender harassment attorney will need to show that it resulted in an adverse employment action.
Under the state law, an employer can be held accountable for an employee’s discriminatory and harassing acts if the employer becomes a party to the harassment by approving, condoning, or encouraging it. Acquiescing or failing to take appropriate action in response to discriminatory or harassing actions may constitute condonation by the employer. For example, if your coworkers constantly call you sexist and demeaning nicknames, and you complain to HR, but HR does nothing in response, this might serve as a basis for liability. Similarly, an employer might be liable if your coworkers express their disdain for your gender and then repeatedly bump into you in hallways or other common areas, but the employer takes no action.
In some cases, a worker is harassed based on gender along with another protected characteristic. For example, in one case brought under state law, a worker was taunted and harassed with objectionable remarks that she was taking away a man’s job and that she was too slow and old, which would be considered age harassment. Male coworkers in her department took her machine and knocked her over. Her manager said that he would talk to them, but they continued their harassment. The employer was held liable for damages.Discuss Your Situation with a New York City Attorney
You can pursue gender harassment litigation under local, state, or federal law, although the greatest protections are usually available under the city law. It is important to hire a knowledgeable gender harassment lawyer in New York City to advocate for you. The attorneys at Phillips & Associates fight for workers in Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Staten Island, along with Westchester, Nassau, and Suffolk Counties, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Contact us at (212) 248-7431 or via our online form.
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