It’s time to take your employer or former employer to court for sexual harassment. The question is, which court to you bring them to? New Yorkers have a choice of filing a sexual harassment lawsuit under federal, state and/or city law. Each court system is governed by a unique set of laws, which provides different types of compensation to successful plaintiffs. If you and your sexual harassment lawyer decide to bring your sexual harassment case under city law, you are fortunate enough to be under the graces of some of the most pro-victim employment laws in the country. New York City Law may be the way to go to maximize compensation.

Under the New York City Law, there is no duty to complain of the sexual harassment or employment discrimination. Even if there is an employee handbook that says you must go to Human Resources! All that is required is that the workplace sexual harassment is committed by a person in a supervisory role or that a supervisor is aware of the sexual harassment and does not take action on your complaint. The Company will be automatically liable. Additionally, under New York City law, sexual harassment need not even be severe or pervasive. All that is necessary is that it be more than a “petty slight” or “trivial inconvenience.” New York City law is extremely pro-employee and very protective of your rights as an employee.
The NYC Human Rights Law: Title 8 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York determines how plaintiffs are compensated in sexual harassment cases. If you receive a settlement or jury verdict in your favor, you may be entitled to:

  • Economic damages — back pay for money and benefits lost due to termination, and/or front pay for future lost wages
  • Compensatory damages — costs associated with a job search and/or payment for emotional distress, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, or inconvenience
  • Punitive damages — additional compensation awarded in cases of egregious malice or reckless indifference to the law
  • Attorneys’ fees — the judge may require your employer to cover your legal expenses

Are there limits to the amount of compensation I can receive?

Unlike federal law, there are no caps on damages you can obtain. Under federal law, there are limits to the amount of compensatory and punitive damages victims can receive. Under New York State law, you cannot collect attorneys’ fees. So, in some cases, filing your lawsuit in municipal maybe your best option.
You’ve experienced enough hardship facing sexual harassment in the workplace. Your job performance has undoubtedly suffered and your self-esteem has probably taken a drastic hit. Before making any legal decisions, consult a compassionate New York sexual harassment attorney who can walk you through the legal process with dignity.
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 contact us online.