Sexual Harassment by the CEO
Often, victims of workplace sexual harassment are afraid of coming forward. This fear is magnified if the harasser is a powerful person, such as the CEO of their company. All employees deserve to be free of harassment in the workplace. At Phillips & Associates, our New York City sexual harassment lawyers are committed to seeking justice for workers who have faced improper advances by a CEO. Federal, state, and local laws provide employees with substantial rights.Holding Your Employer Accountable for Sexual Harassment by a CEO
Sexual harassment is a type of gender discrimination prohibited by Title VII and other laws. It includes offensive jokes, unwanted touching, requests for sexual favors, comments about sexual preferences, and displaying pornographic images in the workplace. When sexually harassing conduct is used as a basis for hiring or adverse employment actions, or it creates a hostile work environment, it is illegal. A harasser may be a coworker, a client, or a supervisor, but harassment may be particularly challenging when it comes from the CEO of the company.
If you have been harassed by your CEO, you may be confused about what has happened to you, and you may understandably be afraid of retaliation. A CEO is a powerful figure. However, Title VII protects you against retaliation. Even if you wind up being wrong about whether the CEO's actions constituted sexual harassment, you may have a separate cause of action for retaliation.
Before filing a charge against a CEO, you should notify the person or department that your employer has designated to receive sexual harassment complaints. This information may be included in your company handbook. However, it may also be prudent to consult an attorney so that you are prepared for any events that may follow. The company may take appropriate steps to fix the situation, or it may not. If it does not, you may file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Civil Rights Bureau, the New York State Division of Human Rights, or the New York City Commission on Human Rights. Whether these agencies may look into your complaint depends on the number of employees who work for your employer. For example, the EEOC may investigate if your employer has 15 or more employees. You may file a lawsuit after the agency investigates, but you should be aware that there are strict time limits to filing suit, and you should consult an attorney so that you do not miss a deadline.Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Creates a Hostile Work Environment
A hostile work environment often occurs when the harasser makes sexual comments, solicitations for dates, demands for sexual favors, requests for photos or sends explicit photos. The harassment can be in person and/or via email or text messages. There may also be inappropriate touching’s. Sexual harassment by a person in such a high position in a company often leaves the victim feeling helpless.
The remedies available for sexual harassment by a CEO may vary depending on the laws that serve as a basis for your lawsuit, as well as the degree of harm you suffered. Under Title VII, you may be able to recover back pay, future monetary losses, mental anguish, emotional pain, and loss of enjoyment of life. After being harassed by the company CEO, you may lose your job or be forced to quit. While you may have the right to reinstatement to your former position, in many cases, reinstatement is impractical after the CEO of the company sexually harassed you. If that is the situation, you may be eligible for an award of front pay to compensate you for the wage loss that you are likely to suffer from the date of the judgment and going forward. If your employer acts with malice or with reckless or callous indifference to a complaint of being sexually harassed by the CEO, you may be able to recover punitive damages.Explore Your Options with a Sexual Harassment Lawyer in New York City
If you suffer from misconduct by the CEO of your company, you should consult a New York City sexual harassment attorney about your rights as soon as possible. At Phillips & Associates, our gender discrimination lawyers provide tenacious representation to victims of illegal treatment on the job. Contact us at (212) 248-7431 or through our online form to set up a free appointment. We assist employees in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, Staten Island, and the surrounding areas.
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