As shown in the media, more and more men and women are complaining about being sexually harassed in the workplace by their employers – including even being sexually assaulted. If you are the victim of such offensive behavior, you are not without options: some of the best New York sexual harassment attorneys can assist you in not only stopping the offensive behavior but also in getting you compensation for your damages and possibly other related damages for pain and suffering or emotional distress. This behavior is offensive and troubling; you should fight back with a lawyer who will not back down.
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace – Initial Thoughts
Sexual harassment includes unwanted sexual advances, sexual contact or other physical or verbal actions which are sexual in nature. Before laying out the types of sexual harassment which exist in the workplace, the first bit of advice you should take if you are a victim of a sexual assault or sexual harassment at work is to contact a top sexual assault or sexual harassment attorney to help you through the mess in which you are about to wade. Understand that employers who are accused of unwanted sexual contact or sexual harassment do not respond well; oftentimes retaliatory measures are taken including termination, threats, demotions, and reduced pay and benefits. In addition, be prepared for an employer to investigate every last corner of your life in an effort to reduce your credibility and tacitly coerce you into dropping your accusation. You will need to be well-armed to outlast such an onslaught on your character.
Where to File a Complaint
The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces federal sex discrimination and harassment laws; they will investigate claims of sexual harassment in the workplace after an employee files a claim with the EEOC within 180 days of the sexual harassment or sexual contact. Either the EEOC will find probable cause for your complaint and sue your employer on your behalf or they will issue a ‘right to sue’ letter at the end of its investigation and you are then permitted to initiate litigation in federal court on your own. The New York State Human Rights Law protects workers from sexual harassment as it is a type of gender discrimination; this law has a benefit over complaints to the EEOC because they cover employers who have as few as four employees. The EEOC will only enforce federal sex discrimination and harassment laws for employers with 15 or more employees.
Types of Sexual Harassment
● Direct sexual contact or conduct by the employer includes sexual remarks or advances.
● Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when an employer or supervisor asks or suggests through physical conduct that an employee perform sexual favors in return for some benefit at work including a promotion or career advancement. If any employment decision is based upon the satisfaction of a sexual demand that is quid pro quo sexual harassment.
● Hostile work environment sexual harassment occurs where an employee is subject to sexually verbal or physical behavior in the workplace. This includes conduct which is sexual in nature and severe enough to create an offensive working environment.
Legal remedies for sexual harassment include compensatory damages to recover lost wages, benefits or opportunities; reinstatement to the victim’s former position if they were terminated; and possibly monetary damages based on pain and suffering or emotional distress.
What Should You Do If You Are Sexually Assaulted or Sexually Harassed?
Document every last offensive action by your employer or superior as they happen – you will need to prove your allegations down the line. Protest the offensive behavior – and document that as well, whether it be in written or electronic form. Document all actions taken in response to your complaints of sexual harassment.
Contact a New York Sexual Harassment Attorney Today
Your choice of lawyer is crucial in enforcing your sexual harassment claims. The sexual assault and sexual harassment lawyers at the Law Offices of Jeffrey Lichtman have won many high profile cases through tenacious litigation – and for this reason we have been able to settle either before or after litigation numerous sexual harassment and sexual assault cases which occur in the workplace. Call us today at (212) 581-1001 to discuss your case and enforce your rights.