Employees all over the country have a right to work in an environment that is free from sexual harassment. In fact, sexual harassment is against Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This federal law ensures that employees are not discriminated against based on their race, sex, age, or sexual orientation. New York City sexual harassment lawyer Gary Falkowitz is experienced in handling these cases. He understands that sexual harassment is one of the most invasive types of discrimination in the workplace. You have rights, and you need someone that will fight for your interests. If you have been a victim of sexual harassment, contact us today.
What other ways are we protected in the workplace from sexual harassment?
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) also assists with sexual harassment complaints. You can file a complaint if you are a victim of sexual harassment at work, in housing, at public accommodation, or at educational institutions. Workplace sexual harassment can be difficult to report if your boss is your harasser. The EEOC provides a safe space for you to file your complaint, without the worry of retaliation.
How does the EEOC define sexual harassment?
Would you know if you’ve been a victim of sexual harassment? Some types of harassment are more blatant than others. Anytime you are faced with unwelcome sexual advances, this is sexual harassment. Verbal and physical misconduct of a sexual nature is also considered harassment. When these inappropriate actions interfere with your work or create hostile work environments, that is also a form of sexual harassment.
How do you handle sexual harassment in the workplace?
You can file a sexual harassment claim with the EEOC or a lawsuit against your employer as well as your harasser. In New York City, anti-discrimination and anti-harassment laws are extremely comprehensive, and they are in favor of the employee. New York City is a large metropolis that is filled with over 3 million employees in private fields. There are also a quarter of a million employees in government jobs. In the state, sexual harassment is treated as a form of gender discrimination. You should be able to go to your work and do your job duties in a positive environment free from discrimination. However, we don’t live in a perfect world, and sexual harassment and sexism are prevalent. Any form of sexual harassment is illegal, and the process to file these claims can be very complicated. You need an experienced sexual harassment lawyer to handle your case. We can go over your rights and build a case from the evidence that we collect.
How is sexual harassment defined by the New York City Human Rights Law?
First, the size of your employer matters. As long as the business as four or more employees, you are protected under the New York City Human Rights Law. This code was created in 1991 to protect employees from any discrimination based on gender, sex, sexual orientation, religion, race, pregnancy, ethnicity, and disability. These laws were developed after many court cases focused on discrimination. Thanks to these cases, employees have stronger protection against discrimination in their workplace. There have been many cases on sexual harassment, which only strengthens your case and the validity of your claims.
Sexual harassment is a form of sex-based discrimination, which can be compensated according to the Humans Rights Law. So, if you have faced harassment by an employee or your boss, you can file a lawsuit. We’re extremely experienced handling sexual harassment lawsuits, so we can help guide you through the process. Some of the most common examples of sexual harassment are sexual advances in the workplace that aren’t reciprocated. Both men and women are guilty of being harassed and harassers in the workplace. If you have felt uncomfortable in your workplace because of unwanted sexual advances, you need to contact us immediately.
What are the two types of sexual harassment claims?
The EEOC has two separate types of sexual harassment claims: hostile work environments or quid pro quo.
Hostile Work Environment: A hostile work environment can occur when employees are aggressive, discriminatory, or use unwanted sexual advances. For example, you should be able to complete your workday without having to listen to inappropriate sexual jokes. You also shouldn’t have to worry about people touching you at work, without your consent. There are even sexual harassment lawsuits that center around sexual social media posts or offhand comments. To prove that you have a hostile work environment, you must show that:
- You were subjected to unwelcomed harassment
- This harassment was of a sexual nature
- This harassment negatively affected your employment (terms, conditions, or privileges)
- This sexual conduct was pervasive and severe
- The employer was made aware of the harassment and did not take appropriate action to remediate. (No action, exacerbated the problem, or didn’t act enough)
Quid Pro Quo: Literally, this phrase means “this for that”. This type of sexual harassment is common between bosses and employees. There is an element of power that is used to intimidate the victim. If you do not allow my advances, you will face negative repercussions in your job. This can also occur if an employee receives a promotion or a raise after they fulfill sexual requests. The definition of sexual harassment is always changing, as human behavior changes over time. So, the laws and protection involving sexual harassment change over time as well. Some of the factors involved in determining sexual harassment are:
How the employer responds when a complaint is filed internally
Workplace harassment policies, procedures, and training that already exist in New York City
Hiring a sexual harassment lawyer in New York City.
Being a victim of sexual harassment can be overwhelming. You are worried about whether you are going to lose your job, or if anyone is going to believe you. These cases are some of the most difficult to handle out of all instances of workplace discrimination. It takes a lot of courage to decide that you are going to stand up to your harasser. An experienced sexual harassment attorney can educate you on your rights while handling your case. It can be difficult to file an EEOC complaint on your own. By hiring a professional you are not leaving your case up to chance. Gary Falkowitz handles cases like this every day, giving you a better chance at winning your claim. In New York City, many employers are required to pay damages when they are found guilty of sexual harassment. In fact, some companies will settle out of court, to avoid damaging their image.
Your New York City sexual harassment lawyer should be an expert in New York City, New York State, and federal sexual harassment laws. When interviewing a potential lawyer, you need to be able to discuss all the intimate details of your case. This is the person that is going to represent you in your claim. If you can’t trust them, then you have a problem. Make sure to go off recommendations and interviews before you make a decision. Your case should be just as important to them as it is to you. Remember, winning compensation in your claim could change your life and help you move on.
What are the different types of sexual harassment in the workplace?
Not all sexual harassment involves direct actions, like being propositioned for sexual favors. In fact, there are a lot of subtle ways that people are harassed at work. A group of people sharing tasteless jokes that are of a sexual nature is a form of harassment. If you have an employee that touches you in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable, this can also be considered harassment. If these issues start to negatively affect your work environment, you are now working in a hostile workplace. If this sounds familiar to you, and you feel you’re being victimized, contact our office today! Some additional types of sexual harassment are:
Gay and lesbian sexual harassment: More people are accepting their own sexualities, which can bring the issues in the public and their workplace. Just because you are comfortable with your sexuality, doesn’t mean that others will be. Lots of gay and lesbian employees are being bullied, teased, harassed, and threatened. Gay and lesbian employees find themselves targets in their workplaces at incredibly high rates. You are entitled to have a safe and fair work environment regardless of your sexual orientation.
Off-site sexual harassment: Some jobs will require you to travel for work. At these events, you can end up staying in hotels with your colleagues. Once staying out of town, employees will most likely hang out together. If alcohol becomes involved, people begin to have lowered inhibitions. Things can happen on these work trips that aren’t consensual. It doesn’t matter if you are drinking and you’re not on location at work. If someone propositions you or acts inappropriately, this is still sexual harassment.
Workplace stalking: Stalking is illegal no matter where it happens. In fact, stalking can be considered a felony. If you have someone in your workplace that is stalking and targeting you, it’s time to report it. First, you should contact your local authorities. Then, you should hire an attorney experienced in handling harassment cases.
Unwanted sexual requests: If someone in your workplace asks you for sex, that is not appropriate. It is even more uncomfortable when you have to reject the person propositioning you. It is illegal for bosses to demand sex from employees and other coworkers. However, it is also illegal for employees to demand sex from each other. When it comes to demanding sex, just don’t do it.
Criminal Conduct: Sometimes, it doesn’t matter if people refuse advances. There are instances of rape in the workplace. There are also other instances of non-consensual sexual behaviors that can be prosecuted criminally.
Bribery: This is the essence of the Quid Pro Quo claim. I will let you keep your job if you choose to do sexual acts with me. If you don’t agree, I’ll make sure you get fired.
Jokes: Off-color jokes have no place in the workplace. Sexual jokes can be very offensive to some of your coworkers. Even teasing another employee sexually can count as sexual harassment. Most of these jokes and teasing are not even funny.
Sexism: Have you looked around to see that all of your superiors are male, and no women are getting promoted? Maybe you’re a male in a female-dominated office, and every other woman makes more than you. These are examples of sexism in the workplace. Some of the most common types are:
Stereotypes: “A woman should be at home while a man works”
Salary: If you’re being paid less because of someone else with the same qualifications because they are a different gender.
Raises/Promotions: If you’re more qualified than a person that got promoted, but only people of the opposite gender are being promoted or given raises.
Gift Giving: If you receive a present from a coworker that feels inappropriate this could be a sign of sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment from a coworker: Someone you work with continues to ask you on dates, propositions you sexually, or they touch you inappropriately. Some employees think that sexual harassment only occurs between bosses and employees. However, any form of sexual harassment in the workplace is illegal.
Same-Sex Sexual Harassment: If someone of the same sex is acting inappropriately toward you, this is not ok. Even though the most common type of sexual harassment is heterosexual, it doesn’t mean that same-sex sexual harassment doesn’t exist.
Sexual coercion: This harassment can occur when someone uses intimidation, alcohol, or drugs to make sexual advances on someone else.
As you can see, there are many different parts of a potential workplace sexual harassment case. Taking matters in your own hands can be difficult, and you risk losing your case. You’ve already faced enough challenges at work, you don’t need to risk receiving compensation. If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual harassment contact Gary Falkwoitz to schedule your free consultation.