When considering filing a workplace discrimination or sexual harassment lawsuit in New York City, knowing the legal definition of related terms is essential. What can be confusing is the way you define a certain word – or the way your company interprets a particular term – may be different than the way the law views that word. The NYC sexual harassment attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group want to help our clients learn more about their legal rights. We are here to clear up confusion so you feel comfortable proceeding with your employment claim.

Supervisor’s harassment results in a hostile work environment and in the realm of NYC employment law, specifically sexual harassment cases, the concept of a “supervisor” or “boss” often comes into play. While this may seem like a relatively straightforward idea, New York specifically designate who qualifies as a supervisor for the purposes of employer liability, which is very important in New York  State and New York City sexual harassment cases. Your employer could be held automatically liable for harassment by a supervisor
A supervisor is any individual that has the authority to recommend business decisions affecting the employee or has the power to direct the employee’s daily activities. “Business decisions” include:

  • Hiring
  • Firing
  • Promotion
  • Demotion
  • Change in pay
  • Change in benefits
  • Work assignments
  • Working conditions and hours
  • Daily work activities

A person might be more senior to you in job position, but unless he or she has the authority to make decisions about your employment, he or she is not your boss. Supervisors may include:

  • Your direct boss
  • Project manager
  • Company CEO
  • Department manager
  • District or regional manager

How does that make a difference for my NYC sexual harassment case?

Under state, city, and federal law, there are two types of sexual harassment: quid pro quo and hostile work environment. If your boss sexually harassed you, it may qualify as quid pro quo harassment. This means a condition of your employment was dependent on submission to or rejection of your supervisor’s advances. For example, your boss promised you a promotion in exchange for sexual favors. Alternatively, your supervisor threatened to fire you if you didn’t sleep with him or her.
However, if the harasser was a co-worker or group of co-workers – even if they held job positions higher up than yours – it would most likely be considered a hostile work environment. When your sexual harassment lawyer takes a look at the facts of the claim, your attorney can give you a better idea of what category the case falls under. Choosing a law firm with vast experience in New York City sexual harassment laws is essential.
The sexual harassment attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC handle a multitude of employment discrimination cases that involve sexual harassment in Manhattan and the greater New York City area. Sexual Harassment is gender-based discrimination and is illegal. For further information, please feel free to call us at 800-807-2209 for a free consultation or click here to schedule a free consultation.