Phillips & Associates

Sexual Harassment of Men by Women

Workplace Rights Attorneys Helping New York City Employees

Most people associate workplace sexual harassment with male supervisors or coworkers harassing a woman. Many instances of workplace sexual harassment do involve this configuration, but there are a growing number of cases arising out of men reporting that they have been sexually harassed by women. Sexual harassment of men by women is actionable in New York City. You should not be embarrassed to come forward. Sexual harassment often arises out of the abuse of power rather than sexual desire. Our New York City sexual harassment lawyers are ready to help you assert your rights. At the employment law firm of Phillips & Associates we can assist with drafting a complaint of sexual harassment, filing a charge of harassment and discrimination at the state or local administrative agency and assist with pursing a claim for money damages.

Sexual Harassment of Men by Women

Workplace sexual harassment includes any unwelcome sexual come-ons, requests for sexual favors or repeated requests for dates, and other words or actions that are sexual in nature and affect the terms and conditions of employment. It can be quid pro quo or hostile work environment.

Quid pro quo harassment occurs if a supervisor or manager tries to condition your employment on a sexual favor. It can only be perpetrated by someone with authority over you at work. For example, if you are a man whose female boss keeps making sexual overtures and offers you a promotion in exchange for sex, you may have been a victim of quid pro quo harassment. Generally, this type of sexual harassment results in an economic injury to the victim. You may even have a clam if you slept with your supervisor out of fear of retaliation.

However, you can suffer from sexual harassment even when there is no economic injury. Under federal and state law, hostile work environment harassment involves sexual words or actions that are either so frequent or so severe that they create an intimidating or offensive workplace. For example, if your female boss keeps posting sexually explicit pictures or talks about sex with you frequently in a way that makes you uncomfortable, this may be sexual harassment. This type of harassment can be perpetrated both by supervisors and by coworkers, customers, and clients. The New York City Human Rights Law has a lower standard than “severe or pervasive” for a hostile work environment claim. Any sexual harassment that rises above a petty slight or trivial inconvenience can form the basis of a hostile work environment under the New York City discrimination laws. The employment law firm of Philips & Associates, has filed hundreds of sexual harassment lawsuits under Federal, State and New York City law. We will analyze your situation and determine the best course of action for you to pursue.

Federal, State, and Local Remedies

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the federal law that prohibits sexual harassment, whether it is perpetrated by women or men. In order to file a lawsuit under Title VII, you must first file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). While most claims of sexual harassment filed with the EEOC are filed by women, men are filing an increasing number of claims. This likely represents a small percentage of the total number of men who have been sexually harassed in the workplace.

Your attorney may also advise you to file a sexual harassment lawsuit under state or local laws. State and local laws provide greater protection because they apply to smaller employers — those with less than 15 employees. They also provide a broader range of remedies.


Many men do not report sexual harassment because they are afraid that they will be mocked or ridiculed by others. They may be concerned that it implicates their own sexuality or prowess, or they may believe that women cannot be perpetrators of sexual harassment. They often feel that they should handle the problem by themselves. However, sexual harassment is not acceptable, and the only way to stop it is by filing a complaint.

You should start by letting the perpetrator of the harassment know that the words or actions are unwelcome. After that, you should use the grievance procedures that have been put in place by your employer. Usually, you can find these procedures outlined in your employment handbook. Our employment law firm has experience drafting complaints of sexual harassment for our clients. A formal complaint of sexual can protect you against any retaliation.

Your employer is not allowed to retaliate against you for reporting sexual harassment under federal, state, or local laws. Retaliation involves any adverse act taken against you for engaging in a protected activity. Protected activities can include reporting an instance of sexual harassment to HR, filing a charge of sexual harassment with the EEOC, or filing a sexual harassment lawsuit under state or local law. Retaliation may take the form of a demotion, termination, reassignment to an unfavorable position, or denial of benefits. This does not mean you cannot be fired. Many employees break the law. However, if your employer does terminate or demote you after a formal complaint of sexual harassment you will have another claim for the retaliation. Your employment law firm will add this cause of action to your complaint.

Contact a Knowledgeable Sexual Harassment Attorney in New York City

At Phillips & Associates, we understand that it can be difficult for men to come forward after they have been sexually harassed. However, sexual harassment of men by women can only be effectively addressed if men are courageous enough to come forward and file lawsuits. Our attorneys may be able to develop a strategy to pursue damages and other remedies from a perpetrator of harassment and abuse. We are one of the largest employment law firms in New York City representing employees. We combat employment discrimination and harassment in Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island, in addition to Nassau and Suffolk Counties. We also handle sexual harassment cases in Westchester, Philadelphia and New Jersey. Contact us at (212) 248-7431 or by using our online form. Our consultation is free and there are no attorney fees unless we recover.

45 Broadway, #620,
New York NY, 10006
Tel: 212-248-7431
Fax: 212-901-2107
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