What Constitutes Sexual Harassment? New York City Sexual Harassment Lawyers Explains New York Sexual Harassment Laws and How an NYC Attorney Can Help
New York City anti-harassment (e.g. sexual harassment /occupational sexism ) and anti-discrimination (sex/gender discrimination) laws are some of the most pro-employee, comprehensive civil rights laws in the country and with New York City having well over 3.5 million private sector employees and another 250,000 city employees there are nearly 15,000 sexual harassment or gender discrimination lawsuits filed in New York City every year. Sexual harassment is a form of gender-based discrimination and No employee deserves to be harassed, discriminated against or mistreated at work. However, in New York City workplace gender discrimination, sexual harassment and occupational sexism occurs far to often and when it does you need an experienced and dedicated New York City sexual harassment attorney. Whether you are a man or a woman, regardless of your sexual orientation (Gay, Straight or Bi-Sexual), workplace sexual harassment is illegal. However, with the right New York City sexual harassment lawyer in your court, and proper knowledge of New York & New York City sexual harassment laws, which protect your rights as an employee, you can fight back.
Sexual Harassment Attorneys NY-NJ-PA
When your are a victim of workplace sexual harassment whether in New York City, New Jersey or Pennsylvania the most difficult decision is the decision to no longer accept it. New York City sexual harassment lawyer Derek T. Smith can and will assist you through this difficult and confusing legal process by helping you to formulate your sexual harassment EEOC complaint, assisting you with the investigation stages of your sexual harassment EEOC complaint and, if necessary, vindicating your right to defend yourself from unlawful harassment through litigation in New York City, New York State, New Jersey or Pennsylvania courts. Verdicts in New York for sexual harassment, hostile work environment and other NYC workplace harassment claims can be high, and employers will often deny wrongdoing and will even protect employees who sexually harass to avoid having to pay damages. If you are experiencing sexual harassment or other unlawful workplace harassment contact the premier New York sexual harassment lawyer, Attorney Derek T. Smith.
The New York City lawyers at the law firm of Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC are well-versed in New York State, New York City and federal labor & employment laws. We use our legal savvy, vast education and compassionate attitude to secure positive results for victims of sexual harassment in and around New York City. Attorney Derek T. Smith, Rated one of the Top sexual harassment lawyers in New York City by SuperLawyers and Newsweek. Attorney Derek T. Smith is also recognized by The New York Law Journal as having obtained one of the highest discrimination jury verdicts in the state of New York.
What is sexual harassment / Gender discrimination in New York City?
In New York City like any other city in America, sex harassment can occur in the workplace under a variety of conditions, but in general, it involves an unwanted condition imposed on your employment because of your gender. You may find yourself subject to one or more of the following behaviors from a superior:
- Unwelcome or unsolicited sexual advances at your place of employment
- Hostility towards your gender or sex
- Offensive or pervasive acts toward one gender, or encouragement of a workplace atmosphere that treats employees of a certain gender inappropriately or insidiously
When faced with workplace harassment or discrimination in NYC remember these important steps:
- Voice your concern on the situation, Tell the harasser that their advances are unwelcome, illegal, and must end immediately.
- Report the incident to your manager, Human Resources, and the harasser’s manager, verbally and through workplace email.
- When reporting the incident be sure to include that the harassment was a result of your sex, race, religion, sexual orientation or other class membership.
- Log all dates, places, times and parties involved in a personal journal. This will help your NYC sexual harassment lawyer build your harassment case.
- If your employer’s response to your harassment complaint does not end the workplace harassment or your employer starts to retaliate against you for bringing a complaint , contact NYC sexual harassment lawyer Derek T. Smith immediately.
NYC Sexual Harassment / Gender Discrimination Laws
To be protected by the New York City Human Rights Law, which governs sexual harassment, occupational sexism and gender discrimination standards in NYC, the company or organization must have four or more employees. The Human Rights Law is Title 8 of the Administrative Code and it incorporates all the amendments since 1991 when the Law was revised. The Code is intended to prevent discrimination of protected classes in the workplace. You cannot be treated differently or unfairly based on your sex, gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, ethnicity, pregnancy or disability. The laws against sexual harassment were developed through a long line of court cases which strengthened the employee protections all employers are now governed by. Some of the most notable sexual harassment court cases are:
- 1964 – The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is passed into law and while this newly formed law laid the foundation for the cases to come it did not include provisions for sexual harassment.
- 1976 – Williams v. Saxbe – Brought by Dianne R. Williams, the first court case which stated that sexual harassment (Quid Pro Quo) is a form of sex/gender based discrimination.
- 1977 – The 1974 decision on appeal in Barnes v. Train which was originally Barnes v. Costle, this sexual harassment case proved that retaliation is sexual harassment and is covered under Title VII.
- 1980 – The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) states that it will compel compliance of Title VII with the clause that unwanted sexual advances are a form of sexual discrimination.
- 1981 – Bundy v. Jackson – the 52 the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals recognized a “Hostile Work Environment” as discrimination under Title VII
- 1985 – McKinney v. Dole – the court ruled that physical violence could be considered sexual harassment, even if it was not sexual, but that the violence happened or would not have happened if not for the employees gender.
- 1986 – Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson – Mechelle Vinson’s case is heard by the United States Supreme Court which stated that sexual harassment can be placed in two categories both actionable under Title VII. (1) Quid Pro Quo sexual harassment and (2) Hostile Working Environment sexual harassment. The court also held that companies are liable for the actions of their supervisor/managers.
- 1990 – The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) states that sexual favoritism constitutes sexual harassment.
- 1991 – Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas Sexual Harassment Senate Hearings: A law professor at the University of Oklahoma Law Center, Anita Faye Hill accused Clarence Thomas of workplace sexual harassment while employed under him for two years at the U.S. Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) during the 1991 Senate hearings on the confirmation of Clarence Thomas to the U.S. Supreme Court to fill the seat vacated by Justice Thurgood Marshall.
- 1991 – Paula Jones v. President Bill Clinton: Paula Jones, who was employed by the state of Arkansas while Clinton was Arkansas Governor, alleged that Clinton exposed his privates before requesting oral sex while the two were in a hotel room. The case was eventually thrown out, however it did shine a light on the Presidents sexual behavior which led to the uncovering of the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal.
- 1997 – Farley v. American Cast Iron Pipe Co. – Anita Farley’s case heard by the Eleventh Circuit, United States Court of Appeals found that an employer with a stern sexual harassment policy can not be held liable in a sexual harassment case unless an employee reports the sexual harassment and the employer fails to act.
- 1998 – Faragher v. boca raton – Beth Ann Faragher’s case is heard by the United States Supreme Court which states that an employer can be liable for the actions of sexual harassment by it’s supervisors unless “Resonable Care” is taken is taken in steps to prevent sexual harassment from occurring and to provide a channel in which it’s employees can report any harassment that does occur. This forces employers to educate and police sexual harassment between it’s own walls to avoid liability.
- 1998 – Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, Inc. – Joseph Oncale’s case brings about the United States Supreme Court’s decision that under Title VII, women and men alike are able to file same-sex harassment lawsuit.
The Human Rights Law sees sexual harassment as a form of sex-based discrimination. Sex-based discrimination is illegal and may be compensable by law. In other words, if you were harassed at work and your employer did nothing to correct the situation, you may be able file a lawsuit in court. The New York City sexual harassment lawyers at the Derek T. Smith Law Group will guide you through this process starting with a free consultation to evaluate your sexual harassment claim.
How does the New York City Human Rights Law define sexual harassment?
New York City sex harassment can occur in the workplace under a variety of conditions, but in general, it involves an unwanted sexual advances or conduct which negatively affects your employment. Harassment can be verbal, physical or pictorial.
According to NYC sexual harassment law, two types of sexual harassment exist:
1. Hostile work environment. A hostile work environment sexual harassment occurs when an employee is subject to unwelcome behaviors such as sexual comments or actions of a sexual nature that create an intimidating, unpleasant, or offensive business atmosphere, and/or unreasonably interfere with his or her job performance. Examples of actions that may cause a hostile work environment include offensive comments, inappropriate materials or graffiti, sexually suggestive innuendos, jokes that are sexual in nature, sexual gestures and/or unwanted physical touching.
In situations involving a hostile work environment, an employee or group of employees must prove that the following conditions were met:
- A protected class was subjected to unwelcome harassment
- The harassment was sexual in nature
- The harassment affected a term, condition, or privilege of employment
- The conduct was severe and pervasive
- The employer was or should have been aware of the harassment and did not take necessary remedial action (the employer took no action at all, took insufficient action, or exacerbated the problem)
2. Quid pro quo. In this type of NYC sex harassment, the victim must choose between accepting or submitting to sexual advances and suffering one or more employment-related consequences. For example, New York City work harassment would fall into the quid pro quo category if a NYC employee suffered a pay cut, was denied a promotion, or was fired upon refusal of a date, one or more requests for a sexual favor, or other sexual advances. On the other hand, if an employee received a raise, bonus, or promotion only after fulfilling certain sexual requests, it could also be considered workplace sexual harassment under New York State and New York City law.
The sexual harassment complainant does not have to be the person at whom the offensive conduct is directed, but anyone affected by the harassing conduct.
Sexual Harassment law in New York City as well as all over the country is constantly evolving, and there are a number of factors and details that are considered in determining New York City workplace harassment, including the following:
- The response of the employer to formal complaints filed internally
- The existing policies, procedures, and training protocol that relate to workplace harassment in New York City.
If you feel as you have been sexually harassed or discriminated against in New York City or Greater New York, contact the sexual harassment lawyers at the Derek Smith Law Group.
Retaliation and sexual harassment
What do you do if you’ve spoke up against sexual harassment in your organization and are now facing negative consequences for doing so? A claim of workplace retaliation can help support a sexual harassment lawsuit in cases where it appears that the employer fired the employee as punishment for having asserted a protected right under New York law. You may have a claim for retaliation if you were fired, demoted or treated unfairly for filing a sexual harassment claim, testifying in court or being involved in investigation, this is illegal in New York. The Law protects you against retaliation as long as you have a reasonable good faith belief that the employer’s conduct is illegal, even if it turns out that you were mistaken.
New York City Sexual Harassment Attorneys
Questions a NYC sexual harassment Lawyer can answer for you:
When you have been sexually harassed in the workplace, you may seek the advice of a New York City sexual harassment lawyer for a number of reasons. If you are uncomfortable with how to report the harassment within your office setting, a sexual harassment attorney can help you to best navigate the system and report the harassment appropriately. Your New York City sexual harassment attorney can evaluate your situation and answer the many questions you may be facing.
- What is sexual harassment in New York City?
- What are some examples of sexual harassment?
- What to Do If You Are Sexually Harassed at Work?
- What are there time limits for filing sexual harassment charges?
- What is the timeline of an New York City Sexual Harassment Case?
If you are considering filing a sexual harassment lawsuit or an EEOC claim, our New York City sexual harassment lawyer can represent you through all legal proceedings.
Finding the right sexual harassment lawyer in New York City
Every sexual harassment case is unique, and different attorneys will offer different types and levels of experience. When choosing the best New York City sexual harassment lawyer for you, a good fit is important. In other words, you should feel comfortable and safe with your New York sexual harassment attorney. This is important because you may need to share very personal information with your lawyer, but you must first feel at ease with him or her before you can do so.
There are also certain qualities you should seek when choosing among sexual harassment lawyers in New York, including the following:
- Experience. Your New York City sexual harassment lawyer should have extensive courtroom practice not only in New York City, but all of New York.
- A New York City Sexual Harassment lawyer should feel so strongly about your lawsuit that your should not be charge a fee unless your Attorney recovers damages in your case.
- Trial record. The most reliable New York City sexual harassment lawyers will have successful track records with New York Labor & Employment laws, sexual harassment and discrimination cases.
- Published works and academic achievements. Do some research to see if your sexual harassment attorney in NYC has published any articles in the field, if he or she has received any honors or other academic accolades, or if he or she has given any significant lectures. By doing this, you can get an idea of your attorney’s level of accomplishment in New York City sexual harassment law.
- Ethics. You want an New York attorney who is trustworthy and honest. Consult your lawyer’s Martindale-Hubbell AV rating to see how he or she rates among peers.
- Support staff. Your sexual harassment attorney in New York City should be surrounded by a team of skilled and knowledgeable colleagues and support staff who can produce accurate and efficient work toward your sexual harassment case.
- Client testimonials. Try to speak with other clients of your New York City lawyer—they can give you an idea of what it is like to work with not just their attorney but their law firm as a whole. Trust word of mouth recommendations from friends.
For additional sexual harassment information
Visit some of our other pages for additional information on New York sexual harassment law by following the links below:
Types of Sexual Harassment
- Gay and Lesbian Sexual Harassment
- Sexual Harassment at Off-Site Events
- Stalking in the Workplace
- Unwelcome Requests for Sex
- Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Workplace
- Sexual Bribery
- Sexual Joking
- Sexism in the Workplace
- Sexual Gift-Giving at Work
- Co-Worker Sexual Harassment
- Supervisor Sexual Harassment
- Sexual Orientation Harassment
- Sexual Coercion in the Workplace
- Unwanted Physical Contact
- Non-Employee Sexual Harassment
- Same-Sex Sexual Harassment
Talk to an experienced New York Sexual Harassment Attorney today
New York City Gender/Sex Discrimination Attorneys are ready to take your call
Have you faced unfair or inappropriate treatment in the office due to your gender? If so, you may be a victim of sexual harassment. While harassment at your job can be difficult and upsetting to deal with, remember that in the state of New York, you have rights in the workplace. Your sexual harassment attorney in New York can be your best resource if your rights have been violated at work. The NYC sexual harassment lawyers of Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC offer extensive knowledge and experience, and have a successful track record representing victims of harassment. Free Consultation and NO FEE unless we recover for you. Contact us today for more information 877-4NYLAWS | 877-469-5297.
Our sexual harassment lawyers serve clients in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island and throughout the state of New York. We also represent employees sexual harassment cases in New Jersey, Pennsylvania & Washington D.C.
For more information on New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania labor & employment laws, and other types of Sexual Harassment and Employment Discrimination visit our New York City Employment Law Blog