What Does Sexual Harassment Look Like?
We all expect to receive respect and collegiality in the workplace. For many employers, however, creating a safe and productive work environment for employees that is free of sexual harassment is a low priority. At Phillips & Associates, our sexual harassment attorneys have helped many New York City employees assert their rights and hold employers responsible for inappropriate workplace conduct.Recognizing Inappropriate Conduct in the Workplace
In general, sexual harassment constitutes unwelcome sexual advances, verbal and physical remarks or actions of a sexual nature, or the direct solicitation of sexual favors. There are many blatant forms of sexual harassment, such as when an employer touches an employee in an unwelcomed and nonconsensual manner, or when an employer makes an overtly sexual remark about another employee. What many employees are surprised to learn, however, is that sexual harassment encompasses many other nuanced situations, and it does not need to take place at the office in order to fall within state and federal employment protections.
The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has created two main categories of sexual harassment.
- The first category consists of so-called “quid pro quo” harassment in which an employer demands sexual favors in exchange for work-related benefits, like a promotion. If the employee rejects the employer’s sexual advances and is terminated or demoted as a result, the employee can bring an unlawful retaliation claim.
- The second category of sexual harassment, and the more common of the two, is known as “hostile work environment” harassment. This form of sexual harassment arises when unwelcomed verbal statements or physical conduct creates an offensive, intimidating, or hostile work environment, or when the conduct unreasonably interferes with the victim’s ability to perform his or her job.
Sexual harassment can include statements that were made with innocent and non-offensive intentions, including jokes or other humorous statements. Despite the speaker’s intent, the meaning or insinuation of the statement can still have a sexually harassing impact on other employees. Additionally, an employee does not need to be the direct recipient or subject of a sexual harassment incident in order to make a claim. If an employee witnesses an employer making frequent inappropriate sexual remarks toward another employee, that employee can bring a claim to put an end to his or her boss’ sexual harassment. Although women are frequently the subjects of sexual harassment, men can also experience sexual harassment and have equal rights when it comes to bringing a claim against their employers. In short, sexual harassment does not need to follow stereotypical patterns in order to arise.Enlist a Sexual Harassment Attorney in New York City
Suffering sexual harassment at the workplace can be one of the most stressful and difficult situations that you will face. Bringing a gender discrimination lawsuit in New York City should be done with the assistance of a skilled lawyer. At Phillips & Associates, we protect each of our clients’ interests and zealously advocate on their behalf. Our team of attorneys has helped people throughout the five boroughs, including in Manhattan, Queens, and the Bronx, pursue the compensation they deserve from employers responsible for unlawful and inappropriate conduct in the workplace. If you or someone you know has been the victim of workplace sexual harassment, Phillips & Associates can help. Call us now at 1-212-248-7431 or contact us online for a free consultation.
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