Sexual Harassment in Public Spaces

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Dedicated Sexual Harassment Attorneys Protecting Victims of Sexual Harassment in Places of Public Accommodations.

Sexual harassment in places of public accommodations is a form of gender discrimination. It occurs when you are subjected to unwanted sexual contact, comments, or sexual conduct in a public space. These actions violate many state laws prohibiting sex discrimination in places of public accommodations.

Places of public accommodations are spaces open for public use. The spaces can be public or semi-private. Furthermore, once a location is used for a publicly accessible event, it is a public space. Therefore, during the event, the location is subject to laws regarding discrimination in places of public accommodations.

As a victim of sexual harassment in public spaces, you need an attorney who will stand by your side. You deserve a lawyer that will advocate for your rights to enjoy a public space without the threat of sexual harassment. You deserve a sexual harassment lawyer who will take the time to negotiate your claim yet be willing to vigorously fight for your rights if your case goes to trial.

What Are Examples of Places of Public Accommodations?

Places of public accommodations are defined by Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. They are spaces open to public use, even if for an event. Examples of places of public accommodations can include:

  • Hotels
  • Hospitals
  • Retail stores
  • Airports
  • Restaurants
  • Uber, Lyft, and Taxi Cars
  • Amusement Parks
  • Schools
  • Daycare Centers
  • Semi-private Golf Clubs
  • Stadiums
  • Theaters
  • Semi-private Swim Clubs
  • Athletic Facilities
  • Catering Facilities

 

What Is Sexual Harassment in a Public Space?

Sexual harassment in a public space occurs when an employee, owner, manager, customer, or another patron makes unwanted sexual comments, contact, or actions against you within that public space or event. Sexual harassment in a public space can occur between two men, two women, or a man and a woman. It may be an egregious act of aggression (rape or sexual assault), obscene gestures and comments, or a refusal to leave you alone while you are in the public space.

What Are Examples of Sexual Harassment in Places of Public Accommodations?

Sexual harassment in public places occurs when you are subjected to unwanted sexual contact, comments, or conduct from an owner, manager, employee, or another patron. Some examples of this behavior may include:

  • An employee stalks you through a store and repeatedly asks for your phone number to “call you sometime.”
  • Your waiter continues to ask you to hang out when her shift is over. She is completely ignoring your girlfriend sitting at the table with you.
  • Another gym patron grabs your butt every time you walk past him.
  • The owner of a movie theater offers you free movies if you help him “release some tension.”
  • A bar manager pours you doubles “on the house” to get you drunk enough to go home with him.
  • You are sexually assaulted in an amusement park line by another park visitor.
  • The golfers in the group behind you on the green make sexist comments about women needing to stay in the house and off the green as you try to play golf.
  • Your Uber driver rapes you.
  • A passenger on the plane keeps putting his hand on your knee, even after you have forcibly removed it several times.
  • You are sexually assaulted by an orderly in the hospital.
  • The hotel manager comes into your room while you are sleeping and records you.

What Is a Hostile Public Environment?

Sexual harassment in a public space can create a hostile public environment. A hostile public environment occurs when sexual harassment intimidates people in a public space. It makes it uncomfortable for anyone to continue to enjoy the space.

What Is a Quid Pro Quo Claim in a Public Space?

Sometimes a quid pro quo action can occur in places of public accommodations. Quid pro quo translates to “this for that.” A quid pro quo sexual harassment claim occurs in a public place when the owner, manager, or employee within the space offers you free products or services in exchange for sexual favors. For instance, if the hotel manager offers you a free hotel room if you agree to engage in sexual activities with him, you may have a quid pro quo claim.

What Are Customer Rights in Places of Public Accommodations?

As a customer, you have the right to enjoy public spaces without fear or anxiety about sexual harassment or gender discrimination. When these rights are violated, the business owner or manager must address the issue and correct it. Corrections may include a public apology, removal of the harasser, and other agreeable terms.

When a manager or owner of a public space ignores the problem or removes you from the situation, your rights are violated. You have the right to seek compensation and other remedies for these actions. Contact a sexual harassment attorney to help you file your claim and receive justice.

Can You Sue for Sexual Harassment in Public Accommodations?

Most state laws protect people from sex discrimination and sexual harassment in public spaces. As a result, you can file a claim for sexual harassment in public spaces in most state courts. If other forms of discrimination occurred, you might be able to submit additional claims under both state and federal law.

Consult a sexual harassment attorney to learn more about your rights under state laws for sexual harassment in places of public accommodations. Your dedicated sexual harassment lawyer can guide you to file your claim in a timely manner in the proper court or state agency.

What Laws Protect People from Sexual Harassment in Public Accommodations?

Federal laws regarding discrimination in places of public accommodations do not prohibit forms of gender discrimination. However, most state laws do prohibit gender and sex discrimination, including sexual harassment.

The following state laws prohibit sexual harassment in public spaces in New York, New Jersey, Florida, Pennsylvania, and California:

  • New York State Human Rights Law
  • New York City Human Rights Law
  • New Jersey Law Against Discrimination
  • Philadelphia Fair Practices Ordinance
  • Pennsylvania Human Relations Act
  • Florida Civil Rights Act
  • California Unruh Civil Rights Act

What Is the Statute of Limitations to File a Lawsuit Against a Public Place for Sexual Harassment?

Each state maintains its own statute of limitations to file a complaint about sexual harassment in a public place. New York City laws provide a time limit of three years to file a lawsuit.

Pennsylvania provides 180 days to file a complaint regarding public sexual harassment.

The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination allows victims of sexual harassment in public accommodations two years to file a complaint.

The Florida Civil Rights Act provides a four-year time limit to file a complaint relating to public harassment.

The California Unruh Civil Rights Act mandates any complaint be filed within two years of the harassment.

What Remedies are Available for Sexual Harassment in a Public Accommodation?

Each state allows different remedies for sexual harassment in public accommodations. Depending on your state, you may receive financial remedies, such as intentional infliction of emotional distress, pain and suffering, and punitive damages. Most courts will also award attorneys fees and costs.

Some victims request declaratory damages. These damages include a public apology and admission of wrongdoing.

To ensure you receive the remedies you need and want most, consult a sexual harassment attorney to help guide you as you draft your demand letter.

How Can a Sexual Harassment Lawyer Help Your Claim for Harassment in a Public Place?

Sexual harassment in a public place can leave you depressed, anxious, humiliated and otherwise scarred. You may want revenge or justice. However, you may not be in the right state of mind to clearly plan a legal defense to achieve justice and compensation. A sexual harassment lawyer can help you develop your case against your harasser.

Your rights as a patron of a public place are a bit complicated. Most state laws believe you have the right to be in a public place without the fear of sexual harassment. However, many federal laws do not provide you the same rights. A sexual harassment lawyer can sort through your state’s laws to find the proper law relating to your claim.

Finally, your sexual harassment lawyer can help you negotiate your settlement from the onset of your case. They can advocate for your rights against sexual harassment and help you reach a fair and equitable conclusion.

Call Our Experienced Public Accommodations and Sexual Harassment Attorneys for Your Free Consultation.

You have the right to live life without sexual harassment. Any actions violating these rights are against the law.

Don’t allow sexual harassment to ruin your right to live life to the fullest! Let our dedicated sexual harassment lawyers help you get the compensation you deserve.

Did You Experience Sexual Harassment in Places of Public Accommodations? Do You Want to Know More About Your Rights? Please Call 800.807.2209 or Email derek@dereksmithlaw.com for Information about Your Rights.

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