Sexual Harassment and the EEOC
When we go to work each day, the last thing we want to face is sexual harassment from a supervisor, co-worker, or client. Unfortunately, many incidents of this conduct still occur each day despite the number of federal and state protections that prohibit sexual harassment and gender discrimination. The lawyers at Phillips & Associates can advise New York City workers on how the EEOC may have an impact on sexual harassment claims against their employers.The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
One of the most powerful federal entities that regulates gender discrimination and enforces related laws is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC. According to the EEOC, “it is unlawful to harass a person (an applicant or employee) because of that person’s sex.” Additionally, the EEOC defines harassment as including “‘sexual harassment’ or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.” This can include offensive remarks about a person’s sex or gender.
Although simple teasing, offhanded comments, and isolated incidents generally do not rise to the level of sexual harassment, a repeat pattern of these events can create a hostile work environment. In some situations, a single, extremely serious instance of sexual harassment can also create a hostile work environment. The EEOC recognizes the seriousness of hostile work environments and uses this as an indicator to determine whether sexual harassment has taken place. Another method that the EEOC uses to identify incidences of sexual harassment is by determining whether the victim suffered an adverse employment consequence as a result of the incident, such as a demotion, pay cut, or termination.
Although the harasser is typically an employee’s boss or supervisor, there are plenty of situations in which an employer’s agent, a co-worker, a customer, or a client engages in sexually harassing conduct. The EEOC investigates all allegations of sexual harassment with equal force and weight. A claim must be filed within 180 or fewer days of the incident, although some states have extended this time period according to their own statutes. Federal employees have 45 days to contact an EEOC Counselor regarding alleged sexual harassment. Other laws that the EEOC is responsible for enforcing include the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Both of these laws provide protections to various specified groups from discrimination and harassment.Right to Sue Letter from the EEOC
Once the EEOC completes an investigation of your claim the agency will issue a “Right to Sue” letter. Once you receive your Right to Sue letter, you need to act fast. You only have 90 days from the day you received the Right to Sue letter to file a lawsuit (for your federal claims). If you have received a Right to Sue letter contact an attorney right away to discuss your rights.Contact a New York City Lawyer for Your Sexual Harassment Claim
If you have been the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, there are many state and federal laws that provide victims with recourse and methods for obtaining compensation. Bringing a claim against your employer can be a stressful and difficult decision. The sexual harassment attorneys at Phillips & Associates have helped many residents of New York City navigate the legal system and gather the evidence they need to bring a claim. We offer a free consultation, and we do not collect any attorney fees unless we obtain a settlement or a judgment in your favor. Call us now at (212) 248-7431 or contact us online to set up an appointment. We represent employees throughout the five boroughs of New York City, including in Queens, the Bronx, and Brooklyn.