One of the most high-profile sexual harassment cases in American history was Paula Jones vs. Bill Clinton. This landmark Supreme Court case established that a sitting United States President had no immunity from civil law litigation for acts taking place before his administration. While the case was dismissed, Clinton eventually agreed to pay an $850,000 settlement and Jones agreed to not appeal.
In her claim, Jones stated that in 1991 Clinton, then the governor of Arkansas, crudely propositioned her in a Little Rock hotel. Jones was working as a state clerk. She claims Clinton touched her, tried to kiss her and dropped his pants asking for oral sex.
U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright dismissed the case, ruling that even if Jones’s allegations were true, such “boorish and offensive” behavior would not be severe enough to constitute sexual harassment under the law.
Had this event taken place in present day New York and tried in City court, there is a chance the case would not have been dismissed. New York Human Rights Laws are very liberal and pro-victim. The “severe” standard is much lower, so the one-time incident Ms. Jones endured might have been enough to secure a successful verdict. Of course, that is speculation, but harassment victims in NYC should feel confident in pursuing their case under New York laws.
Have you been harassed by a member of public office?
Politicians are not above the law. If you work for a public officer in New York, and you were sexually harassed, you deserve to seek justice. From State Treasurers to Assemblymen to Governors, countless politicians have been found guilty of harassing their subordinates.
NYC lawyers who focus their practice in sexual harassment can explain in full detail whether you have a case worth going after.
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 800-807-2209 for a free consultation or email at