A longshoreman at the Red Hook Pier filed a lawsuit in Brooklyn Federal Court against his former boss amidst claims of sexual harassment and inappropriate sexual conduct. In addition to suing his ex-boss, Sabato Catucci, the Plaintiff, Michael Sabella, filed suit against his union president Louis Pernice, who heads the International Longshoremen’s Association Local 1814.

Our New York City sexual harassment lawyers learned that a jury awarded Sabella $60,000 in punitive damages but let the union president off the hook.

Sabella worked for American Stevedore Inc. During his time at the Pier, Sabella alleges he was subjected to a hostile work environment. According to the lawsuit, his former supervisor physically assaulted Sabella.

“I was attacked,” Sabella testified. “He (the supervisor) went to grab my crotch and I pushed his hand away. He threw me over the desk and I couldn’t get out — he was strong.”

Catucci and his attorney deny the allegations. “At most there was a joking atmosphere which might occur in a men’s locker room,” argued Catucci’s lawyer Janine Bauer.

Sabella further claims the Union failed to help him, and the Waterfront Commission ignored his complaint.

Is it sexual harassment in New York City if two men are involved?

Cases of male sexual harassment are on the rise. In fact, the number of sexual harassment charges filed by men to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission jumped from 11.6% in 1997 to 16.3% in 2011.

In New York City, both men and women can file complaints of sexual harassment against the same sex. Male-on-male harassment and female-on-female harassment may be compensable under the law. Even if you are a man who was harassed by a woman, you still may be entitled to compensation.

Do not let stereotypes stop you from getting the justice you deserve. Contact a sexual harassment attorney in New York to learn about your legal rights.

The Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC handles a multitude of cases that involve sexual harassment in Manhattan and the greater New York City area. For further information, please feel free to call us at 212-587-0760 for a free consultation.