If you receive sexual advances or comments from an employer or coworker, you may experience strong feelings of degradation, humiliation, or depression. Workplace sexual harassment is prohibited under federal, state, and local laws in New York City as a form of sexual or gender-based discrimination. Any form of harassing conduct taken due to your sex may be considered sexual harassment. Sexual harassment does not have to occur at your workplace. It can occur at someone’s home, a conference or other business function such as a happy hour of office party. If you were sexually harassed, you should consult the New York City sexual harassment lawyers at Phillips & Associates.Quid Pro Quo Harassment
You can recover damages for quid pro quo harassment, which can be committed only by a supervisor or manager. This type of harassment occurs if your job or an employment benefit is conditioned on your submitting to the harassing conduct. An employer who makes a negative decision affecting your employment because you resisted or complained about sexual harassment can also be held accountable for quid pro quo sexual harassment. For example, if your supervisor asks you on a date and then fires you for saying that you are not attracted to him, he could be held accountable for quid pro quo harassment.Protections Under the New York City Human Rights Law
The New York City Human Rights Law is one of the strongest anti-discrimination laws in the country, and it prohibits hostile work environment harassment in the workplace. To establish a claim under the New York City Human Rights Law, you would need to show by a preponderance of the evidence that you have been treated less well than other employees due to your sex. The city law is construed broadly because of its remedial purpose. Accordingly, a sexual harassment attorney in New York City would need to meet a lower standard to establish sexual harassment under the city law than the standard under federal or state laws. Any unwelcome sexual behavior in a New York City workplace is illegal, including crude jokes, lewd remarks, or touching. For example, if your supervisor makes jokes about your pubic hair in his soda, this may be sexual harassment. Similarly, if you are at the office holiday party, and the CEO gropes your breasts, this is likely sexual harassment.
Under the New York City Human Rights Law, an employer can be held accountable for a non-supervisor or non-manager’s sexual harassment that creates a hostile work environment if the employer fails to take reasonable steps to eliminate the harassment. Accordingly, it is important to let the employer know that you have been sexually harassed to give the employer a chance to take remedial and prompt action. You may be able to sue for damages if the employer is notified but does not take proper measures to fix the situation.Federal and State Laws
Most often, the city law offers the best way to seek a remedy if you have been sexually harassed in a New York City workplace, such that the harassment created a hostile work environment. However, if you need to bring your claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or the New York State Human Rights Law, your New York City sexual harassment attorney would need to show that the sexual harassment that you faced was either so severe or so pervasive that the workplace was made hostile or abusive. For example, if you were the only woman in your department, and for two weeks you daily received pornographic memes from your coworkers in that group, and your supervisor was cc’d on these memes, and you wrote an email back and cc’d your supervisor to let them know that it was unwelcome, but they did nothing about it, you may have a claim for sexual harassment under Title VII. Similarly, if you were sexually assaulted by your supervisor, this is likely to be found severe enough to create a hostile work environment.Consult a Dedicated Sexual Harassment Attorney
When you come to work, you hope to be judged on your work performance, rather than a trait that you cannot control like your sex. Sexual harassment can be emotionally painful, whether it involves a supervisor requesting sexual favors or a coworker who keeps making comments about your body. Sexual harassment litigation can be pursued against employers of all sizes in New York City. The seasoned sexual harassment lawyers at Phillips & Associates represent workers in Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Staten Island, along with Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Contact us at (212) 248-7431 or via our online form.
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