Sexual Harassment and New York State Division of Human Rights
We all depend on our job to make a living and work hard to excel at our duties. In some circumstances, employees spend more time at the office than they do at home or with their friends. As a result of these close working relationships, sexual harassment in the workplace is not uncommon in a bustling and economically vibrant city like New York. To protect workers, New York State developed the State Division of Human Rights (“NYSDHR”), which enforces laws enacted to protect workers from this type of misconduct. At Phillips & Associates, our sexual harassment lawyers have many years of experience assisting New York City employees in bringing claims pursuant to these laws and seeking the compensation that they deserve.The New York State Division of Human Rights
New York was the first state in the nation to enact a Human Rights Law. According to this law, each citizen is afforded “an equal opportunity to enjoy a full and productive life.” As a result, employment discrimination based on national origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, or other recognized protected category is unlawful. The NYSDHR’s mission “is to ensure that ‘every individual…has an equal opportunity to participate fully in the economic, cultural and intellectual life of the State.’” To this end, the NYSDHR prosecutes unlawful discrimination practices, receives complaints regarding discrimination, and conducts investigations into the veracity of each claim. The NYSDHR also develops educational materials and courses, and it develops proposed state legislation.
New York’s sexual harassment laws recognize two forms of sexual harassment. First, sexual harassment can occur when an employer’s conduct, statements, or provision of visual images creates a hostile work environment that has an unreasonable impact on an employee’s ability to perform his or her job duties. Hostile work environments are typically characterized as intimidating and offensive. To bring a claim, an employee does not need to be the direct recipient of the sexual harassment. New York law recognizes that sexual harassment directed at another party can have an indirect negative impact on another employee’s abilities to perform his or her job duties and to feel comfortable at work.
The second form of sexual harassment recognized in New York is called “quid pro quo” sexual harassment. In this situation, an employer or supervisor makes a sexual request to the employee in exchange for some job-related condition. The condition can be something beneficial to the employee, like a raise, or something negative, like a demotion. The request constitutes sexual harassment, providing the employee with a basis for recourse. If the employer also retaliates against the employee after the employee refuses the request, the employer may also be liable for workplace retaliation. Retaliation includes many acts, such as firing the employee, giving the employee a reduced workload, or cutting the employee’s pay.Enlist a Sexual Harassment Lawyer in New York City
At Phillips & Associates, we have helped many individuals throughout New York City investigate gender discrimination claims against their employers. Our attorneys know just how difficult this subject can be and the risks that each employee takes by coming forward and asserting his or legal rights against an employer. Our team of professionals can guide you through each step of the process and fight for your rights along the way. We offer a free consultation and do not recover any fees unless we obtain a judgment or settlement in your favor. Call us now at (212) 248-7431 or contact us online to set up your appointment. Our clients have come from throughout the five boroughs of New York City, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens.