I Slept With My Boss to Keep My Job. Is This Sexual Harassment?

Even the best job can be ruined by an immoral supervisor. It is absolutely unacceptable and illegal for a person in a position of authority to exploit his or her employees by exchanging job benefits for sex. The New York sexual harassment attorneys at Phillips & Associates have significant experience helping victims of sexual harassment protect their rights. If you have been forced to sleep with your boss to keep your job, contact us right away.

Exchanging Sexual Favors for Benefits is Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment has two subcategories. A hostile work environment occurs when a boss or coworker’s actions create an offensive or hostile environment, or interfere with a person’s ability to do his job. The other type of sexual harassment is called quid pro quo. This type of harassment occurs when sexual favors are exchanged either to gain a job benefit, or prevent the loss of one. Coercing an employee to have sex in order to keep his job constitutes quid pro quo sexual harassment that is prohibited by federal, state, and local law.

The specific act of an employer requiring an employee to have sex in order to maintain employment is not the only situation that might be quid pro quo harassment. Other examples may include:

  • Offering to give an employee a raise in exchange for a date;
  • Demoting an employee after he or she rejects a sexual advance; or
  • Refusing to promote an employee unless he or she performs a sexual act.

There are countless ways in which an employer could engage in quid pro quo harassment. A situation where submitting to or rejecting sexual advances is made the basis for granting or denying employment benefits could be quid pro quo harassment.

Several Laws Protect Employees

The landmark federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 made discrimination based on gender, and therefore sexual harassment, illegal in the United States. This law allows employees who have suffered sexual harassment at work to sue their employers to protect their rights and recover damages. The first step in the process is filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal agency that investigates Civil Rights Act claims. If you believe that you are the victim of sexual harassment and are unsure how to proceed, talk to an experienced employment attorney.

The New York City and New York State Human Rights Laws are the state and local equivalent of the federal Civil Rights Act. These laws work in conjunction with the federal law to protect workers in the state and city by lowering the threshold of the number employees from 15 to four an employer must have to be subject to liability for sexual harassment. If you are unsure as to whether your employer is covered by sexual harassment laws, ask a lawyer.

Hire an Experienced Attorney

Employees exploited by their employer do not have to suffer in silence. If you have been forced to sleep with your boss to keep your job, contact Phillips & Associates to speak with an attorney who can help. An experienced New York sexual harassment lawyer will evaluate your case and recommend a course of action that can help you protect your rights. Call (212) 248-7431 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation.