When you’re at work, you probably do your best to act professionally. But, during downtime, you are sure to crack a few jokes with your co-workers. You may even strike up a workplace romance. But where do you draw the line between palling around with friends and grossly offending someone? If you are not careful, you could cross the line into sexual harassment territory. In NYC, sexual harassment at work is illegal. You and your employer could be held legally liable by one of our attorneys in a court of law.

If you are nervous about inadvertently harassing someone on the job, adhere to a few simple rules:

  • Keep your jokes tasteful. Avoid any sexually-themed banter.
  • Asking someone on a date is not illegal. However, if they say no, do not ask him or her again.
  • Avoid exchanging personal phone numbers, unless necessary for work-related activities.
  • Do not display any explicit content in your workplace. This includes pictures, newspaper clippings, and articles.
  • Pay attention to your co-workers’ reactions to the comments you make. If they are offended, alter the content of your conversations.
  • Keep relationships between your subordinates and yourself professionally.
  • Do not assume your colleagues want to flirt, trade explicit jokes, or are interested in you sexually.
  • Behave positively, professionally, and keep focused on producing a superior work product.

One of the biggest temptations for inappropriate workplace behavior occurs during office and holiday parties. This is especially true when alcohol is involved. Even though these events may happen off-site, or during non-working hours, you still need to maintain a professional presence. You can still be held responsible for harassment which occurred outside of your normal job functions.

Has someone crossed the line and offended you? Have you been subjected to a hostile work environment? If you have been sexually harassed at work, speak with a New York City lawyer right away.

The New York Employment attorneys at 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, call us at 800-807-2209 for a free consultation.