Phillips & Associates

Sexual Harassment by Industry

Dedicated New York City Lawyers Advocating for Employees

Although newspaper headlines recently have focused on allegations of sexual harassment in Hollywood and in politics, sexual harassment is prevalent across many industries, many of them not covered in major newspapers. Women of color, for example, are particularly susceptible to becoming victims of sexual harassment if they work in the restaurant or hotel industries for low wages. If you have been harmed by sexual harassment, you should consult the New York City sexual harassment attorneys at Phillips & Associates. We understand the various forms of sexual harassment in each industry and the particular challenges that people in different industries may face when bringing a lawsuit.

Sexual Harassment by Industry

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the New York State Human Rights Law, and the New York City Human Rights Law all prohibit sexual harassment in the workplace. In a study of 85,000 charges of sexual harassment at the EEOC over a period of a decade, it became clear that sexual harassment occurs in many different industries at differing frequencies. Around 80% of all sexual harassment charges are brought by women, but men also experience harassment.

From 2005-2015, 14.23% of sexual harassment charges filed at the EEOC arose in the accommodation and food services industry. In the same time frame, 13.44% of the sexual harassment charges arose in retail trade, while 11.72% arose in manufacturing. The health care and social assistance industry made up 11.48% of the charges. Administrative and support and waste management and remediation made up 6.92% of the charges, and public administration made up 6.48% of the charges. Allegations arising in the professional, scientific, and technical services industries made up 5.73% of the sexual harassment charges. Allegations arising in the transportation and warehousing industry made up 4.94% of the sexual harassment charges. Allegations arising in the finance and insurance industries made up 3.98% of the charges. Allegations arising in the educational services industry also made up 3.98% of the charges.

In the same time period, charges arising from the information industry made up 2.87% of the sexual harassment charges filed at the EEOC. Allegations arising in the construction industry made up 2.52% of the sexual harassment charges. Allegations arising from the wholesale trade industry made up 2.27% of the sexual harassment charges. Allegations arising from real estate rental and leasing made up 1.95% of the sexual harassment charges. Allegations arising from arts, entertainment, and recreation made up 1.61% of the charges. Other industry categories, such as agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting, management, utilities, and mining, each had allegations that made up less than 1% of the charges filed at the EEOC.

Although our society as a whole is focused on sexual harassment in more glamorous or prestigious work settings, such as Silicon Valley, Capitol Hill, Hollywood, and the newsroom, the people most at risk are actually women (in particular, women of color) in low wage jobs involving service. Many of these jobs depend on tips, which makes the employees especially vulnerable to predatory behavior.

It can be terrifying to complain about sexual harassment, particularly when your wages are low and you feel powerless. There are three laws in place to protect you. Under the New York State Human Rights Law, your employer is prohibited from sexually harassing you even if you are the only employee. For example, if you are a household employee who cooks and cleans full-time and is being sexually harassed by your boss, you may be able to bring a claim under the New York State Human Rights Law, even if there are no other employees.

If you work at a small business, you may still be covered by the New York City Human Rights Law, which covers businesses with a minimum of five employees. The New York City Human Rights Law has one of the broadest anti-retaliation provisions of any anti-discrimination laws in the country. Your employer is not allowed to take an adverse employment action against you for reporting sexual harassment as long as you have a good-faith belief that you were sexually harassed. Even if a court later determines that you were not sexually harassed under the contours of the city law, you may be able to recover damages for retaliation.

Seek Representation from a Sexual Harassment Lawyer in New York City

Our attorneys are sensitive to how degrading and demeaning sexual harassment can be. We also understand the differences in sexual harassment by industry in New York City and the surrounding area. We are ready to advise you on your options for legal recourse. Call us at (212) 248-7431 or contact us via our online form for a free consultation with an experienced attorney. We fight employment discrimination in the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan, as well as in Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties and in New Jersey.

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