Phillips & Associates

Hostile Work Environment Based on Sex - Sexual Harassment

New York Hostile Work Environment Lawyers

Despite the fact that the law demands gender equality in the workplace, sexual harassment is still rampant, even in New York. The most prevalent form of sexual harassment is called hostile work environment harassment. The New York sexual harassment attorneys at Phillips & Associates understand the laws that are meant to protect workers from a hostile work environment. If you are facing inappropriate harassment at work, Phillips & Associates can help.

What is a Hostile Work Environment?

Conduct that constitutes sexual harassment can be verbal, written, or physical. Sexual harassment is a form of gender discrimination; however, men can be the victims of sexual harassment, and the genders of the harasser and victim are irrelevant, meaning that it can occur between two men or two women. Additionally, the person making the claim of harassment need not be the victim. It can be anyone who is affected by the situation.

There are two ways in which a hostile work environment can occur. The first is through actions that would create a hostile, intimidating, or offensive work environment to a reasonable person. The second occurs when unwelcome conduct interferes with a person’s ability to do his or her job. In both cases, the conduct in question must be severe or pervasive. This means that one instance of harassment may not create a hostile work environment. However, extreme conduct, such as a sexual assault, or repeated, less-severe conduct may create a hostile work environment.

Some examples of conduct that may indicate a hostile work environment exists include:

  • Inappropriate sexual verbal comments, emails, or text messages;
  • Unwelcome sexual advances;
  • Sexually explicit or derogatory cartoons or drawings;
  • Unlawful physical touching;
  • Requests for sexual favors;
  • Blocking, trapping, or an intimidating physical presence; or
  • Non-sexual but inappropriate comments about a person’s gender.

The person engaging in these prohibited actions may be a coworker, a manager or boss, or a third-party who is onsite.

New York and U.S. Laws Prohibit Hostile Work Environments

There are three major laws that protect New Yorkers subjected to hostile work environments. A federal law called the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits conduct that either interferes with the harrassee’s work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment. Claims of sexual harassment can be investigated by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which will look at the totality of the circumstances that surround the claim; victims can also file suit in court under this law. These federal protections apply to employers with 15 or more employees.

The other two laws that protect New Yorkers are the New York State and New York City Human Rights Laws. These laws are written to protect generally the same rights as the federal law. One benefit of the state and city laws, however, are that they apply to employers with as few as four employees. Therefore, even if your employer is not covered by the federal law, it may subject to state or city law.

Plaintiffs who bring a successful lawsuit under any of these three laws may be entitled to compensatory damages for financial injuries and emotional distress. In some cases they also may be entitled to punitive damages.

You Do Not Have to Tolerate Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment in the form of a hostile working environment can transform your dream job into a nightmare. If you are the victim of a hostile work environment, trust your case to experienced New York employment lawyers. Phillips & Associates will work hard to protect your rights. To schedule a free and confidential consultation, fill out our online contact form or call Phillips & Associates at (212) 248-7431.

PHILLIPS & ASSOCIATES
45 Broadway, #620,
New York NY, 10006
Tel: 212-248-7431
Fax: 212-901-2107

Client Reviews
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Hands down the best law firm for labor disputes in NYC. Being in the restaurant industry for more than 30 years I can say that this law firm is the number one choice for workers in the restaurant business that need to sue their company for wrongful termination. A special compliment to my lawyer Brittany Stevens. An amazing person and well prepared experienced lawyer. She was professional and empathetic to my case and worked in a time appropriate manner. She never miss a phone call at any hour of the day.The other associates that assisted Brittany were Yusha Hiraman, Eugenio Benvenuto and Katerina Housos. They were all professional and answered any questions or concerns that I had. Brittany and her team helped me with what I needed, when I needed it. I want to thank them all (especially Brittany), for a job well done. Massimo
★★★★★
Jesse Weinstein handled my discrimination case. He was extremely patient and understanding throughout the process and remained professional and consistent even when I could not. I really felt like he had my back and I didn't have to worry. His expertise, combined with the experience of the Firm, resulted in the best possible outcome of my case. Although I wouldn't wish what I went through on anyone, things do and always will happen and I would highly recommend Jesse and this Firm to anyone facing discrimination or other workplace issues. Karen
★★★★★
I was a client with this law firm. I can't stress enough how awesome and professional the people are here. Silvia & Erica made me feel so comfortable and welcome. I never had to guess anything. Anytime I call, emailed, or even texted. They were always there. If not they would get back to me as soon as possible. My case was not an easy situation for me but I tell you these guys made it seem like it was. I'm so glad that I use Phillip & Phillip. I thank you guys from the bottom of my heart. I am so grateful to have met such awesome, honest, and caring people. Thank you again. Djuana
★★★★★
I highly recommend Parisis (Gerry) Fillippatos with Phillips & Associates to represent you for employment related matters. He and his team were professional, attentive to every detail and brilliant at identifying the legal grounds to win the case. Parisis's communication and delivery were highly articulate and precise. He is personable and makes you feel comfortable in the maze of legal jargon. Finally, his confidence, perseverance and masterful negotiation skills deliver the win. Anonymous
★★★★★
I had an excellent experience with this team! Thanks, Marjorie, Brittany, and Candy for your great support and prompt answers to all my questions. I highly recommend this firm. This team works very hard and I am extremely happy with the results. Ana