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Sexual Harassment in the Hiring Process

New York Attorneys Skilled in Employment Discrimination Matters

When you are looking for a new job, your gender should play no part in a prospective employer’s decision. Federal, state, and city laws prohibit engaging in forms of discrimination like sexual harassment during the hiring process. A company that breaks these laws may be subject to civil liability. If a New York employer treated you improperly when you applied for a job, the sexual harassment lawyers of Phillips & Associates can help protect your rights.

Employers Cannot Sexually Harass Prospective Employees

Gender discrimination in the workplace and in the hiring process is categorically prohibited. Sexual harassment is a form of gender discrimination and is therefore also illegal.

Job applicants may encounter two different types of harassment. If an employer offers a prospective employee an employment benefit in exchange for some sort of sexual act, this is unlawful quid pro quo harassment. An example could be an employer who promises to hire an individual only if she’ll go on a date with him. In general, any offered benefit, such as a higher starting salary or more vacation time, traded for a romantic or sexual favor may constitute quid pro quo harassment.

Another type of impermissible treatment is called hostile work environment harassment. This type of behavior occurs when an employer engages in conduct that is intimidating, hostile, or offensive to a reasonable person. A single event is usually not enough to create a hostile work environment unless the behavior is egregious, such as a sexual assault. This claim more often arises when less severe harassment occurs so repeatedly that it interferes with a person’s ability to work.

A prospective employee who has been sexually harassed may be entitled to compensatory damages for emotional distress and any financial damages that resulted from the illegal behavior. In some extreme cases, successful plaintiffs may also be entitled to punitive damages.

Laws Protecting Job Applicants

On the federal side, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of gender, including sexual harassment, during the hiring process. Any employer with 15 or more employees is subject to this law. The New York State and New York City Human Rights Acts also both ban sexual harassment and gender discrimination against job applicants. The benefit of these laws, moreover, is that they apply to entities with as few as four employees. A prospective worker who was sexually harassed may choose which of the federal, state, and city laws to use as a basis for a claim, depending on the circumstances of his or her case.

If a person suspects that a prospective employer has committed illegal sexual harassment, the first step is to file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). This agency will investigate the situation and either take action itself or issue the employee a Right to Sue, at which point he or she can bring a lawsuit in federal or state court.

Lawyers Holding New York Employers Accountable for Discrimination

Some companies may choose to ignore the law, but prospective employees do not have to tolerate sexual harassment while looking for a job in New York. If you are a victim of this illegal conduct, an employment discrimination attorney at Phillips & Associates can evaluate your case and seek the compensation to which you may be entitled. Call (212) 248-7431 or visit our contact page to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

What Our Clients Say?
"Phillips & Associates did a wonderful job. I would recommend Brittany Stevens." Angel
"Employment dispute I had a dispute with my former employer, Jesse Weinstein was patient and thorough with my case. He covered every angle and was able to help me with my dispute. I would recommend Jesse Weinstein and Phillips and Associates in the future to anyone." Margaret
"Hands down the best law firm for labor disputes in NYC. Being in the restaurant industry for more than 30 years I can say that this law firm is the number one choice for workers in the restaurant business that need to sue their company for wrongful termination. A special compliment to my lawyer Brittany Stevens. An amazing person and well prepared experienced lawyer. She was professional and empathetic to my case and worked in a time appropriate manner. She never miss a phone call at any hour of the day. Brittany and her team helped me with what I needed, when I needed it. I want to thank them all (especially Brittany), for a job well done." Massimo
"Jesse Weinstein handled my discrimination case. He was extremely patient and understanding throughout the process and remained professional and consistent even when I could not. I really felt like he had my back and I didn't have to worry. His expertise, combined with the experience of the Firm, resulted in the best possible outcome of my case. Although I wouldn't wish what I went through on anyone, things do and always will happen and I would highly recommend Jesse and this Firm to anyone facing discrimination or other workplace issues." Karen
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