Staten Island Sexual Harassment
Employment Attorneys Assisting Staten Island Residents
Staten Island is the least populated of the five boroughs of New York City. Major Staten Island employers include the Staten Island University Hospital, the New York City Department of Education, Home Depot, Pathmark, Target, Celerant Technology Corp., and Macy's. In 2016, the New York City Commission on Human Rights witnessed a 60% jump in claims of harassment and discrimination. In 2017, the complaints increased by 30%. In the fall of 2017, a landslide of sexual harassment claims has developed, often involving powerful men in the entertainment and fashion industries, as well as politics. If you are sexually harassed on the job, you should hold your employer accountable. A civil lawsuit for damages is one of the main ways to do that. At Phillips & Associates, our Staten Island sexual harassment lawyers may be able to help you recover damages for the misconduct.
Forms of Sexual Harassment
It is illegal to harass a job applicant or employee based on their sex. Sexual harassment can include unwanted sexual advances, offensive remarks, innuendoes, touching, groping, requests for sexual favors or repeated requests for dates, and other behavior related to gender or sex. Even comments that are derogatory about a particular sex can count as sexual harassment. It is illegal, for example, to make repeated offensive remarks about women in the workplace.
A harasser can be a victim's supervisor or manager, a coworker, a customer, or a client. However, what must be established can vary depending on whether the harasser is someone with authority over the victim, or someone at the same level or outside the company. Some people are surprised to learn that both the perpetrator and the harasser can be of the same sex. The law can be trickier, however, when same-sex claims are involved, making it especially important to consult a sexual harassment attorney on Staten Island early in the process.
Many victims of harassment are unsure whether their harassers have crossed the line into actionable behavior. An offhand or isolated incident that is not very serious is not likely to count as sexual harassment. Instead, harassment is actionable if it is so severe or frequent that it creates a hostile work environment or results in the victim being demoted, fired, or otherwise losing out on some privilege of employment. Quid pro quo harassment occurs when a powerful person with authority over you tries to trade job benefits for sexual favors.
Often, it is unclear which laws are best applied to a certain situation. Depending on the size of your employer, you may have a claim for sexual harassment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as well as claims under the New York State Human Rights Law and the New York City Human Rights Law. You may also have tort claims for assault, battery, or intentional infliction of emotional distress. Each of these potential venues for relief may have different statutes of limitations and, to some extent, different procedural prerequisites. For example, to pursue a Title VII claim, your Staten Island sexual harassment attorney will first file a charge with the EEOC.
The relief available under these different laws may dictate whether you file your claim in federal or state court, at least partly. For example, Title VII caps compensatory and punitive damages. For many victims of egregious sexual harassment, it may be more appropriate to file under the New York City Human Rights Law, which provides less restrictive remedies than do Title VII and the New York State Human Rights Law. On the other hand, the facts of your particular situation may dictate whether to pursue a federal, state, or local claim, depending on how different courts have interpreted similar facts in the past.
Consult an Experienced Sexual Harassment Lawyer on Staten Island
At Phillips & Associates, we fight all forms of employer misconduct on Staten Island, and we are ready to help you hold an employer accountable for the harassment that you suffered. Contact us at (866) 229-9441 or through our online form.
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