Sexual Harassment by the CEO
New York City Attorneys Representing Gender Discrimination Victims
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 (866) 229-9441 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.
Sexual Harassment by the Owner of the Company
Gender Discrimination Lawyers Serving New York City Employees
Sexual harassment by anyone in the workplace may be the basis for a sexual harassment lawsuit, but there may be some challenges related to proving that the company failed to take steps to protect the harassed employee. However, these issues do not arise when the harassment is by the owner of the company, who is in a leadership position and creates the culture of the workplace. If you face inappropriate advances from the owner of your company, the New York City sexual harassment attorneys at Phillips & Associates can help you file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and bring a lawsuit for damages.
Sexual Harassment by the Owner of the Company
Sexual harassment may take many forms, including unwelcome comments, promises of promotions in exchange for sex, offensive jokes, and unwanted touching.
Sexual conduct that is considered sexual harassment includes any time that these actions are used as a basis for hiring, promoting, raises, or assignments, or when the sexual conduct is so severe or pervasive that it creates an intimidating or hostile work environment. For example, if the owner of the company offers to promote you if you sleep with him, this is an example of quid pro quo harassment. If the owner repeatedly makes sexual jokes and encourages an office culture in which employees make sexually explicit jokes on a regular basis, causing you to be uncomfortable at work, this is an example of a hostile work environment.
Too often, victims of sexual harassment are afraid to speak out against their harassers. This is particularly true when the harasser is the owner of the company. However, federal, state, and local laws in New York protect people who suffer from sexual harassment by the company owner. Before filing a lawsuit, you should directly ask the owner of the company to stop. If there is an HR department at the company, you should let it know about the harassment so that it has an opportunity to try to protect you. However, you don’t always have to complain before filing a lawsuit if the harasser is an owner.
If the harassment does not stop, or the owner retaliates against you after you asked him or her to stop, you may file a charge with the EEOC, the New York State Division of Human Rights, or the New York City Commission of Human Rights. There are deadlines to file claims with each of these agencies, and it may be important to consult an employment attorney as soon as possible after the harassment to make sure that you meet any necessary deadlines and present a strong case. If you want to file a sexual harassment claim in federal court based on Title VII, you must first file a charge with the EEOC before suing. The EEOC investigates sexual harassment charges when employers have more than 15 employees.
Victims of sexual harassment are often concerned about reporting what happened to them for fear of losing their jobs. This fear may be particularly relevant when the owner of the company is the person engaging in the harassment. Retaliation for complaining about sexual harassment is illegal. Even if it turns out that you were wrong that what happened to you was sexual harassment, as long as you had a good-faith claim of sexual harassment, your job is protected. A company owner who fires or demotes you for filing a sexual harassment complaint may be subject to penalties for that retaliation.
Enlist a New York City Attorney for Your Sexual Harassment Claim
If you suffer from sexual harassment or a hostile work environment by the owner of your company, you should consult a New York City sexual harassment lawyer about your options as soon as possible. At Phillips & Associates, we can provide tenacious legal representation. Contact us at (866) 229-9441 or through our online form to set up a free appointment with a gender discrimination attorney. We combat sexual harassment throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, Staten Island, and the surrounding areas.
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