Yonkers Sexual Harassment
Yonkers is a city that is known in part for being the setting of a famous Neil Simon play. The median income for a family in the city is $53,000. There are 88.6 males for every 100 females in Yonkers. Workplace sexual harassment is one form of sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It is also prohibited under the New York State Human Rights Law. If you have been a victim of workplace sexual harassment, you may be dealing with a wide range of negative emotions, including shame, embarrassment, and distress. Unfortunately, although sexual harassment is illegal, employers too often tolerate it, pretend not to see it, or protect harassers. At Phillips & Associates, our Yonkers sexual harassment lawyers counsel and represent victims of workplace misconduct in lawsuits for damages.Sexual Harassment Takes Many Forms
Sexual harassment is prohibited under Title VII. However, Title VII only applies to employers that have at least 15 employees. It caps compensatory and punitive damages. In many cases, it is wiser to pursue a sexual harassment lawsuit under the New York State Human Rights Law, which prohibits sexual harassment in all workplaces in New York, even those with just one employee.
You are entitled to work in an environment that is free of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment can include a wide range of offensive conduct, such as derogatory remarks, innuendoes, jokes, pranks, pornographic visual images, touching, or groping.
For a sexual harassment attorney in Yonkers to bring a valid claim on your behalf, the harassment must be either quid pro quo harassment or hostile work environment harassment. "Quid pro quo" means "this for that." It occurs when a supervisor, manager, or someone else with authority in the workplace offers a benefit in exchange for a sexual favor or offers not to take an adverse action in exchange for a sexual favor. Hostile work environment harassment, meanwhile, can be perpetrated by supervisors, managers, coworkers, clients, or customers, and it must be either so severe or so pervasive that it alters the terms and conditions of employment. Men or women can perpetrate sexual harassment, and similarly, victims can also be of either gender or can be transgender.
You should report any sexual harassment that you experience according to the grievance procedures outlined in your employment handbook. If there is no grievance procedure outlined in your employment handbook, it is usually a good idea to provide a verbal and written complaint to HR, along with any supporting documentation. For example, if you received sexually explicit emails from a coworker, you should attach them to your complaint to HR.
Under state law, you can hold your employer strictly liable for sexual harassment perpetrated by an owner or high-level manager. This means that even if none of the other managers or owners knew about the harassment, the employer is liable for it. A Yonkers sexual harassment attorney can help hold your employer strictly liable for a supervisor or lower level manager's sexual harassment only if he or she has enough control over your working conditions.
Generally, however, your employer is only liable for sexual harassment by a coworker under state law if it knew or had reason to know of the harassment. This makes it very important to use internal grievance procedures and allow an employer to take corrective action. Only if the employer does not respond satisfactorily or if it retaliates against you would it make sense to pursue the claim as a lawsuit.
Damages are different under state law as opposed to Title VII. In most cases, you will have more protection under the New York State Human Rights Law because it covers more employers and does not cap damages. However, under state law, you cannot recover punitive damages, which are damages awarded to punish the employer. Each situation has unique aspects, which make it important to consult an experienced employment litigator about a strategic approach.Explore Your Options with a Sexual Harassment Lawyer in the Yonkers Area
At Phillips & Associates, our experienced attorneys help people who suffer from sexual harassment or discrimination on the job. If you believe that you have been a victim of sexual harassment, you should contact us at (212) 248-7431 or through our online form to set up a free case evaluation.