Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when submission to or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.
When dealing with a sexual harassment EEOC claim or lawsuit employees or job applicants should remember anti-harassment (e.g. sexual harassment/sexism in the workplace ) and anti-discrimination (sex/gender discrimination) laws are some of the most pro-employee, comprehensive civil rights laws in the country. Sexual harassment is a form of gender-based discrimination and no one deserves to be harassed, discriminated against or mistreated at work.
Whether you are a man or a woman, regardless of your sexual orientation (Gay, Straight or Bi-Sexual), workplace sexual harassment and sexism is illegal.
According to the EEOC, there are two types of sexual harassment claims
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.
In situations involving sexual harassment as 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:
Quid pro quo means “this for that”. In this type of sexual 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 workplace harassment would fall into the quid pro quo category if an employee suffered a pay cut, was denied a promotion or was fired upon the 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.
There are a number of factors and details that are considered in determining sexual 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.
Different Types of Sexual Harassment Cases We Handle:
- Hostile Work Environment
- Quid Pro Quo
- Unwelcome Request For Sex
- Sexism in the Workplace
- Sexual Bribery
- Sexual Gift-Giving at Work
- Sexual Harassment by a Supervisor
- Workplace Sexual Coercion
- Non-Employee Sexual Harassment
- Gay and Lesbian Sexual Harassment
- Sexual Harassment at Off-Site Events
- Stalking in the Workplace
- Criminal Sexual Conduct
- Sexual Joking
- Co-Worker Sexual Harassment
- Sexual Orientation Harassment
- Unwanted Physical Contact
- Same-Sex Sexual Harassment
- Sexual Harassment at Office Holiday Parties
What do you do if you’ve spoken up against sexual harassment in your organization and are now facing negative consequences for doing so? 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 the investigation, this is illegal. 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. We will advise you that 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 state law.
Workplace Sexual harassment typically consists of numerous incidents. Detailed and an accurate written log, or diary, of the incidents, will help prove your claim of sexual harassment by providing evidence of what took place and when. Documentation is such an important part of filing a valid sexual harassment claim, it’s important to include every detail, no matter how minor. Victims should write down or record below aspects as they happen, so they’re fresh in the mind:
- Each specific information, including the time and date of all details
- All the people directly and indirectly involved
- Record offensive conversations or remarks
- Keep a log of emails or memos you have received
- Complaints you have made: when, to whom, what you said and the response
- Any reactions to the alleged sexual harassment
- How the incident made you feel
- How it affected work performance
- How it affected your general well-being
Every sexual harassment case is unique, and different attorneys will offer different types and levels of experience. When choosing the best 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, including the following:
- Experience: Your sexual harassment lawyer should have extensive courtroom practice not only in the state.
- A Sexual Harassment lawyer should feel so strongly about your lawsuit that you should not be charged a fee unless your Attorney recovers damages in your case.
- Trial record: The most reliable sexual harassment lawyers will have successful track records with Employment laws, sexual harassment, and discrimination cases.
- Published works and academic achievements: Do some research to see if your sexual harassment attorney 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 sexual harassment law.
- Ethics: You want an 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 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 more information on sexual harassment in the workplace, read our employment law blog:
- Reasons for Victims of Sexual Harassment Would Refuse To Report It
- Three NYC Sexual Harassment Myths Debunked By HR Personnel
- 5 Ways to Recognize Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
- Reporting Sexual Harassment in New York: The Value of Speaking Up
- The Five R’s of Preventing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace