Requests for Dates
Ideally, all of us would like to work in a collegial and professional environment with coworkers whom we enjoy. Sometimes close working relationships and long hours, however, can create prime opportunities for sexual harassment in the workplace. One of the most common instances is when an employer asks an employee or prospective employee to go on a date. Naturally, this puts the applicant or employee in a very difficult position and can prevent them from achieving optimal job performance. At Phillips & Associates, our sexual harassment attorneys have provided seasoned legal guidance to New York City employees who have been improperly asked on dates by a boss or interviewer. If you are facing a similar situation, we can help.Requests for Dates and Inappropriate Workplace Conduct
Due to the power imbalance between an interviewer and applicant, or a boss and employee, many people feel like they have no choice but to accept a request for a date from the interviewer or supervisor. This is not true. An employee or applicant has the right to refuse to go on a date with the requester. Several federal and state laws provide protections for employees against workplace sexual harassment. For example, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it illegal “to discriminate against an individual in compensation, terms of conditions, or privileges of employment” based on the employee’s sex or gender. Sexual harassment falls within the realm of discrimination because it is typically geared toward the victim’s sex. Additionally, since dates include romantic or sexual sentiments, a request for a date from an employer or interviewer may fall within the realm of sexual harassment.
New York City has also enacted the Human Rights Law, which provides further protections for employees against sexual harassment. The law includes situations in which the conduct creates a hostile work environment, or in which the interviewer or employer creates a “quid pro quo” situation. A request for a date is particularly prone to the latter form of sexual harassment. An interviewer may offer an applicant a job on condition that the applicant goes on a date with the interviewer. This is not only inappropriate but also completely unlawful under New York City’s Human Rights Law.
If you have been asked on an unwanted date by your interviewer or boss, it is important to keep a record of the event, including the date, location, and any written messages associated with the request. This is particularly important if the interviewer or supervisor continues to make repeated requests. Although it may be tempting to ignore the request or to change the subject, it is vital to let the requester know that you do not want to go on a date and that the advances are unwelcome. If there are other supervisors or a chain of command in your company, be sure to notify the appropriate individuals about the incident.Pursue a Gender Discrimination Claim with a New York City Attorney
If you or someone you know has experienced an inappropriate request for a date from a New York City employer or interviewer, the gender discrimination lawyers at Phillips & Associates can help. We can guide you through every step of the process and zealously represent your rights. We do not collect any fees unless we obtain a settlement or a judgment in your favor. Call us now at (833) 529-3476 or contact us online to set up a free consultation. We have assisted individuals from throughout New York City, including Manhattan, the Bronx, and Queens.