How Do I Know if My Work Environment is Hostile?

New York City, State and the EEOC recognize two types of sexual harassment: quid pro quo and hostile work environment. If you were offered an incentive for conceding to a sexual advance, or threatened with a negative consequence for refusing a sexual advance, it may be considered quid pro quo sexual harassment. On the other hand, if inappropriate jokes, advances, comments and other lewd behavior affected your employment, your sexual harassment case may fall under the hostile work environment umbrella in New York.

Understanding whether or not your work conditions are legally considered “hostile,” you need some knowledge about how the law defines a hostile work environment. According to the EEOC, the main concern is if the behavior ‘unreasonably interested with an individual’s work performance’ or created ‘an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.’

The EEOC considers these factors when determining if your work environment was hostile:

  • whether the conduct was verbal or physical or both;
  • how frequently it was repeated;
  • whether the conduct was hostile or patently offensive;
  • whether the alleged harasser was a co-worker or supervisor;
  • whether others joined in perpetrating the harassment; and
  • whether the harassment was directed at more than one individual.

Sexual harassment of this nature may consist of behaviors such as:

  • Lewd jokes
  • Leering
  • Making offensive statements about your appearance or clothing
  • Sexual references
  • Inappropriate touching
  • Sending suggestive emails, notes or letters

If you were subject to repeated conduct of such nature, you may be a victim of workplace harassment. You might be entitled to compensation, so consult a sexual harassment lawyer in New York City to learn more.

Under New York City Law, just one instance of sexual harassment may be enough to make a claim. Under the Federal and State Laws, one instance may also be enough but the court looks to the severity of the sexual harassment.

The Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC handles a multitude of cases that involve sexual harassment in New York City. For further information, please feel free to call us at 212-587-0760 or toll-free at 1-877-4NYLAWS or email at dslaws@msn.com.

 

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