Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment
Workers in New York have the right to earn a living without being subjected to sexual harassment. One of the situations where an employer crosses the legal boundary is an offer to exchange sexual activity for job benefits. The New York sexual harassment lawyers at Phillips & Associates understand the difficult position in which an immoral employer can put employees. If you have been offered job benefits in exchange for sex, call our office to discuss taking action against your employer.Predicating Job Benefits on Sexual Behavior is Illegal
Sexual harassment in outlawed in New York by federal, state, and city law. These laws define two general types of sexual harassment. A hostile work environment exists when the actions of a supervisor or coworker either create an offensive or intimidating environment, or they interfere with the employee’s ability to do her job.
The second kind of sexual harassment is called quid pro quo, which is a legal term that, in this case, means an arrangement where some kind of sexual relationship is exchanged for a job benefit. A supervisor requiring an employee to have sex in order to stay employed is a classic example of this type of harassment; however, there are many more situations that may constitute illegal quid pro quo harassment, such as:
- Refusing to hire an employee who will not engage in some kind of sexual activity;
- Firing an employee for rejecting a sexual advance;
- Promoting an employee on the condition that he or she date the supervisor; or
- Giving any kind of benefit in exchange for sexual acts.
In essence, any situation where a person in a position of power confers or denies benefits to an employee in exchange for sexual activity or as retribution for rejecting sexual activity could constitute this type of harassment.Multiple Laws Protect Employees from Sexual Harassment
Both types of sexual harassment are illegal according to federal, state, and city law. The federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on several personal characteristics, including gender. Sexual harassment is simply a type of gender discrimination. The Civil Rights Act gives victims of sexual harassment the right to sue their employer in federal court for damages resulting from the illegal activity.
The New York City and New York State Human Rights Laws also protect New Yorkers from sexual harassment. The state and city laws provide the additional protection of lowering the number of employees an employer must have, from 15 to four, to be covered by these standards. If you believe that you have been sexually harassed by your employer or another coworker, ask a lawyer which laws protect you.
Workers who successfully sue their employer for sexual harassment are entitled to compensatory damages. In some cases, punitive damages may also be appropriate. If you are unsure what damages you may be eligible for, consult a lawyer.Hire an Experienced Attorney
How far you climb on the corporate ladder should not be based on anything but the merits of your work. If you have been offered job benefits in exchange for sex, your employer has broken federal, state, and local law. Contact the New York sexual harassment attorneys of Phillips & Associates to learn how you can protect your rights. Get in touch with us by calling (212) 248-7431 or filling out our online contact form.