An employer or co-worker can engage in harassment in many different ways. Direct sexual imposition, or forcing sexual acts on another person, is one of the most blatant and despicable. If someone at your workplace has fondled, groped, or otherwise harassed you, he or she likely has broken the law. The gender discrimination lawyers of Phillips & Associates can help you if you have been affected by this illegal conduct in New York.Sexual Imposition is Unlawful Harassment
Although many types of harassment may be implicit and difficult to prove, sexual imposition is not. It often consists of a single act, but sometimes it forms part of a larger pattern of behavior. Hostile work environment harassment is the most common form of this unlawful conduct, and it is likely the type that occurs in the event of sexual imposition. If an employer’s supervisor or co-worker’s behavior unreasonably interferes with an employee’s ability to do his or her job, or if these actions create an offensive, hostile, or intimidating work environment, it is considered harassment. Some examples of illegal behavior include:
- Sending explicit pictures; or
- Any unwanted touching.
Under Federal and New York State law, any imposed sexual act could form the basis for a hostile work environment complaint as long as it is severe or pervasive. If the behavior is thoroughly outrageous, such as unwanted fondling, it may only take one instance to give rise to a valid sexual harassment claim. Less egregious conduct might require the affected worker to show that repeated episodes happened to sustain a valid complaint.
In addition to sexual harassment, unwanted groping, touching, or fondling may constitute criminal sexual assault. If an employer or co-worker has committed this type of act, consult an attorney immediately. He or she can help you decide whether to report what happened in your workplace to the police.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits sexual harassment and gender discrimination in all 50 states. This law applies to employers with 15 or more workers. Before pursuing a claim under the Civil Rights Act, a victim of sexual harassment must file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC will then investigate the claim and either pursue a lawsuit on the employee’s behalf or issue a Right to Sue that allows the individual to file a lawsuit in court.
The New York City and New York State Human Rights Laws also prohibit workplace harassment, including sexual imposition. These laws apply to employers with as few as four employees.Lawyers Skilled in Holding New York Employers Accountable for Sexual Harassment
Employers that blatantly disregard federal, state, and city laws by engaging in sexual imposition at work should pay for their actions. If you are the victim of unlawful conduct by your supervisor or a co-worker, you have a right to seek justice. The sexual harassment attorneys of Phillips & Associates can help you file a claim with the EEOC and/or pursue a lawsuit on your behalf. To schedule a free case evaluation, call (212) 248-7431 or email our office.