Phillips & Associates

Sexual Harassment on Wall Street

Gender Discrimination Attorneys Assisting New York City Residents

Powerful people on Wall Street sometimes assume they are above the law, and this can take the form of sexual harassment. According to a January 2016 report by the New York Post, male traders often mistreat their female counterparts without fearing the consequences, since the industry historically has promoted an insular, opaque environment. The U4 form that employees typically sign before starting to work on Wall Street also is designed to reduce employer liability for sexual harassment. However, federal and New York laws protect employees against discrimination by their superiors and coworkers. If you have been mistreated by a coworker or supervisor on Wall Street, you should consult the New York City sexual harassment lawyers at Phillips & Associates. Nobody should need to put up with discriminatory conduct in his or her workplace.

Sexual Harassment on Wall Street

Sexual harassment can occur in many different circumstances, but generally it is unwelcome conduct that affects an individual's employment, creates an intimidating work environment, or unreasonably undermines an individual's work performance. It can include verbal sexual advances, pressure, sexually suggestive gifts, sexual joking, unwanted touching, and many other types of unwelcome conduct. The two categories of sexual harassment are "hostile work environment" and "quid pro quo" claims.

A hostile work environment arises if actions unreasonably interfere with your ability to work or create a hostile workplace. Quid pro quo harassment occurs if someone with authority over you, such as a supervisor, expects you to submit to sexual harassment in order to get a promotion or benefit or to avoid an adverse employment action. For example, if your boss asks you to have sex with him in exchange for a raise, this is quid pro quo sexual harassment. Similarly, if a supervisor tells you that you will be fired if you refuse to comply with his sexual requests, this is also quid pro quo harassment.

The victim and the harasser can be of either sex, and the victim does not need to be a different gender from the harasser. A harasser could be your supervisor, your employer's agent, your coworker, or even a client. Sexual harassment victimizes anyone affected by the harassing conduct, not only the direct victim.

Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits sexual harassment as a form of gender discrimination. This law applies to private employers who have 15 or more employees, as well as federal, state, and local governments, employment agencies, and labor unions. The New York City Human Rights Law (‘NYCHRL”) and New York State Human Rights Law (“NYSHRL”) applies to private employers who have less than 15 employees.

Usually, it is best for a victim to specifically tell the harasser that his or her conduct is unwelcome and ask the harasser to stop. If a harasser does not stop, it is appropriate to use your employer's internal complaint or grievance mechanism.

Often, it is necessary to turn to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which administers sexual harassment laws and investigates claims. The EEOC can examine the record, including the circumstances and context for the alleged harassment and the nature of it. Claims are determined on a case-by-case basis. New York has a Human Rights Law, and New York City has its own Human Rights Law, which also outlaw sexual harassment. It is important to consult with an attorney about which laws may apply in your situation.

Many employees on Wall Street are concerned about the possibility of employer retaliation or blackballing. This is a reasonable concern, but it is illegal for an employer to retaliate against someone for opposing sexual harassment or otherwise participating in a proceeding brought under Title VII, the New York State Human Rights Law (“NYSHRL”) and the New York City Human Rights Law (‘NYCHRL”).

Consult a New York City Lawyer for Your Sexual Harassment Claim

In many cases, there are no witnesses to sexual harassment. In fact, abusive employers on Wall Street may depend on the lack of witnesses to carry out their harassment. They know that workers are particularly vulnerable to their abuse because they may not be believed. The New York City sexual harassment attorneys at Phillips & Associates provide tenacious, knowledgeable representation to victims. We understand how to prepare and work up cases to seek the remedies that you deserve. Call our gender discrimination attorneys at (212) 248-7431 or use our online form to set up a free consultation. We represent employees throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, Staten Island, Long Island and Westchester.

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