Phillips & Associates

New York State Sexual Harassment Laws

Manhattan Attorneys for Victims of Employment Discrimination

Sexual harassment is not permitted in New York workplaces. This behavior is prohibited by federal, state, and city law. The employment discrimination lawyers of Phillips & Associates have devoted their efforts to helping workers in Manhattan and elsewhere in New York who have been affected by unlawful conduct. If you have endured sexual harassment at work, your employer has likely violated the law and can be held liable for its actions.

Take Action Against Sexual Harassment

There are two broad categories of harassment based on gender, neither of which is allowed in any form. The more obvious type is called quid pro quo harassment. This conduct usually occurs when an employer or supervisor offers to trade an employment benefit for some kind of sexual favor. A common example is promising to promote a worker in exchange for going on a date with the boss. This type of harassment might also take the form of punishing an employee who rebuffs the supervisor’s advances.

The more subtle and more common type of sexual harassment is called a hostile work environment. There are two ways in which an employer can create this situation. The first is by engaging in or allowing behavior that creates what a reasonable person would consider an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment. The second is by tolerating or encouraging conduct that unreasonably interferes with an employee’s ability to do his or her job.

Conduct that may lead to a hostile work environment based on sexual harassment varies from case to case, but common examples include:

  • Sexually charged comments, whether verbal or written;
  • Unwelcome physical touching; or
  • Intimidating physical situations, such as blocking or trapping.

Under the New York State Human Rights Law (HRL), the offensive conduct must be severe or pervasive. In other words, a hostile work environment usually does not arise from a single stray remark. However, it could be found after a single instance of extreme conduct, such as a sexual assault, or after a long series of minor actions.

State Law Prohibits All Forms of Gender Discrimination

Both quid pro quo and hostile work environment harassment are forbidden by New York state law. The New York State Human Rights Law (HRL) protects workers from unlawful discrimination based on age, race, sexual orientation, gender, and many other personal characteristics. Since sexual harassment is a type of gender discrimination, it is covered by the HRL. Specifically, § 296 of this law prohibits discrimination based on sex, which also includes pregnancy. Section 296-c closes a potential loophole and prohibits sexual harassment against unpaid interns.

One benefit that the HRL holds over federal legislation in the same area is that the state law applies to employers with as few as four workers. This ensures that more New York employees are protected from sexual harassment.

Contact an Employment Lawyer to Discuss a New York Harassment Claim

You do not have to tolerate any form of gender discrimination at work. State law aims to eliminate sexual harassment from workplaces entirely, and it allows employees who have been subjected to this unlawful behavior to hold an employer accountable in Manhattan or elsewhere in New York. If your rights have been infringed, an employment law attorney at Phillips & Associates can help you explore your options. To schedule a free case evaluation, call (212) 248-7431 or visit our contact page.

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

Client Reviews
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