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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 (833) 529-3476 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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