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Workplace Sexual Coercion


Sexual Harassment lawyers advocating for victims’ rights

When it happened, you might not have realized you were a victim. Sexual coercion is a more subtle form of sexual assault which can happen in the workplace or during work events. Often unreported in job environments, sexual coercion refers to manipulating or persuading another person to engage in sexual behavior, often against their will. In some instances, sexual coercion is not just illegal sexual harassment — it is also criminal conduct punishable by law.

Coercion is a tactic used by perpetrators to intimidate, trick or force an employee into a sexual act. Workplace sexual coercion can occur in complex forms that involve authoritative status, deception, physical power and a range of tools such as showing favoritism, discrimination and denial or provision of rewards. If you have been harassed or assaulted at work in New York City, New Jersey, Pennsylvania or Florida contact the sexual harassment lawyers at the Derek Smith Law Group.

Our team of experienced sexual harassment attorneys will help you fight back against workplace abuse, and ensure you are properly compensated for your trauma. If you need to file a criminal complaint in addition to pursuing civil damages, we can help make sure correct charges are filed. Our sexual harassment attorneys will handle every step of your EEOC claim or sexual harassment lawsuit.

If you are an employee and need representation in an employment law issue, contact us for a free review with an employment law attorney today.

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What is sexual coercion?

By definition, sexual coercion is “the act of using pressure by intimidation, alcohol or drugs, or forced to have sexual contact with someone against his or her will.” Sexual Coercion can be overt or covert which makes it hard to identify. Sexual coercion includes all forms of sexual contact, including intercourse, oral sex, kissing, petting and more. Abusers use a range of pressure tactics to convince the victim to submit to sexual activity when the victim has already refused. Sexual coercion harassment is unwanted or excessive contact or communication with a person of a sexual nature, to the point where that person feels intimidated, traumatized, tired or afraid. Coercion involves physical force or spoken sexual threats that restrict another person’s choice or freedom to perform their work responsibilities.

Workplace coercion could happen at the job site during working hours, or after-hours at company-sponsored events such as holiday parties. The harasser can be your supervisor or colleague. It could be a one-time occurrence, or the abuse may have taken place over a period of time.

Types of sexual coercion

Harassment and sexual assault wear many masks. There is no typical abuser or situation. Sexual coercion comes in various forms, including:

  • Verbal — includes flattering, begging, name-calling, using peer pressure, lying or arguing. Examples are: “You know you want it;” “You’re so beautiful, I can’t resist;” “Please, just this once.”
  • Emotional — includes taking advantage of a person’s feelings, trust or instability. Examples are: “If you really loved me, you would have sex with me;” “If you don’t have sex with me, I’ll find someone else who will;” or “I can’t be with someone who won’t have sex with me.”
  • Physical — includes using physical force or pressure. Examples are: holding someone down, making them feel physically threatened or physically hurting a person.

Tactics such as blackmail, threatening or using guilt are also forms of coercion. In the workplace, the harasser may threaten to get you fired or demoted if you refuse his or her sexual advances. He or she might threaten to release personal information or damaging information to your supervisors. At an office party, the abuser might try to get you to ingest excessive amounts of alcohol to lower your inhibitions.

In some instances, sexual coercion could constitute rape or another form of sexual assault. Forced sexual contact is subject to punishment in both civil and criminal court. Consult with a sexual harassment lawyer in New York City, New Jersey, Philadelphia or Miami to learn the full extent of your rights and legal recourse.

Complete a Free Case Evaluation form or call (800) 807-2209 today.

Speak to a New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia or Miami sexual harassment lawyer about your sexual coercion claim today

Harassment in any form should not be tolerated in the workplace. If you have been teased, taunted and subjected to sexual coercion in your place of work, contact the sexual harassment attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group at 800-807-2209, or fill out a contact form online. We operate on a 100% contingency fee basis, meaning there are no upfront legal fees. You only pay attorneys’ fees if we successfully recover money on your behalf.

Our sexual harassment lawyers serve clients in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island and throughout the state of New York. We also represent employee’s sexual harassment cases in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Florida.

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