Everyone has the right to work in a safe environment, away from any hostility or harm. Unfortunately, inappropriate encounters occur all too often. If you were sexually harassed at work, both the harasser and your employer may be liable for damages.
If your employer, coworker, or someone else at work has sexually harassed you, you can sue them for compensation under New York law. The Albany sexual harassment attorneys at Morelli Law Firm can represent you. You should not have to face the people responsible for harassing you alone.
Sexual Harassment Comes in Many Forms
Sexual harassment offenses range from overt to subtle behaviors. If you have been sexually harassed, it is not uncommon to be confused about what legal options you may have or what to do next.
While sexual harassment can come in many forms, it always comes without your consent. Sexual harassment can include a variety of behaviors, such as:
- Promoting or hiring in exchange for sexual favors
- Making sexual advances either physically or verbally
- Unwelcome physical touching of a sexual nature
- Visual harassment
- Bullying using sexually explicit comments
- Exposure to pornography against your wishes
New York Labor Law § 201-G requires employers to create a sexual harassment prevention policy at their work. This law establishes a legal groundwork for an employer to be liable to workplace sexual harassment if they do not take sufficient measures to prevent it.
Is Gender Harassment Considered Sexual Harassment?
Yes, and it’s a violation of your civil rights. Gender harassment is a form of sexual harassment, but the behavior does not need to be sexual in nature to cause harm. This type of behavior can be insidious, and more difficult to identify than what we traditionally think of when we talk about sexual harassment. Behaviors that are considered gender harassment include:
- Assaulting or interfering with a person because they take issue with their gender
- Making derogatory comments or insulting someone based on their gender
- Continuing to comment or verbally provoke someone with insults and inappropriate comments that are solely based on their gender even after you asked them to stop
- Displaying material that is offensive to one particular gender, for instance, a comic about a woman’s place being in the kitchen or similar material
Albany Sexual Harassment Lawyer Near Me 877-751-9800
How a Sexual Harassment Attorney in Albany Can Help You Build a Strong Case
Handling a sexual harassment claim can be challenging, especially if you are still working in the environment in which you were harassed. You can receive immediate support for your situation when you work with an attorney. A sexual harassment lawyer in Albany can advise you on:
- What legal options to pursue
- How to report the harassment
- How to respond to the harasser
- What to do to prevent an employer from retaliating after reporting
When you hire a legal team for representation, all legal communications and paperwork can be handled on your behalf.
Building a Sexual Harassment Case in Albany
An Albany sexual harassment attorney from Morelli Law Firm can evaluate your situation and advise you accordingly once you begin working together. In order to determine liability, some key points need to be addressed, such as:
- What acts of harassment occurred
- Who committed the act
- If there were any witnesses
- If any evidence was documented
- Calculating damages in your case
If the responsible party’s insurance company makes you a settlement offer, your legal team can evaluate its fairness. If this offer does not compensate you for all your damages, you may be able to negotiate for a higher settlement or take your case to trial.
Conducting a Sexual Harassment Investigation in Albany
One of the first things a sexual harassment attorney will do upon being hired is to launch an independent investigation into your case. They will be looking for any evidence to prove your specific claims of sexual harassment. However, this will only be one part of their investigation.
Those who commit sexual harassment rarely do so in a bubble. If someone has sexually harassed you, it is likely that this harasser has done the same to others. Your attorney will attempt to uncover other victims of harassment in the course of their investigation to help prove a pattern of inappropriate behavior on the part of the defendant.
The more victims your lawyer can uncover, the stronger your case will become.
Filing an Albany Sexual Harassment Lawsuit
Apart from preparing a report, an Albany sexual harassment lawyer can offer essential services during the lawsuit steps, such as:
- Documenting the harassment
- Providing evidence of the discussions you may have had with the perpetrator
- Monitoring your employer’s response after you make a formal complaint
- Being available to answer your questions and provide legal advice
What to Do After Being Sexually Harassed
The suitable time to file typically depends on the state in which the harassment occurred. If your boss, co-worker, third-party partner, or a customer harassed you sexually, do not let the perpetrator go unpunished. When this unlawful workplace harassment happens, report it immediately to your employer.
If your employer does not take the vital steps required to resolve the matter, the company may be held liable for obstruction of justice. Contact an attorney if your employer knows about the case but refuses to take action. It’s recommended you retain all communications related to your sexual harassment, as they may become evidence in your case.
Does Sexual Harassment Create a Hostile Work Environment?
Not always, but in certain situations, it certainly can. It is very dependent on the prevalence of the behaviors, the frequency of the offenses, and a variety of other factors.
In the case of Harris v. Forklift Systems, Inc., 510 U.S. 17, 23 (1993), the U.S. Supreme Court addressed this question and essentially stated that all circumstances need to be looked at before determining whether the environment is hostile and that no single factor is necessarily required.
While you do not need to demonstrate a loss of job or salary in order to have a valid claim for a sexually hostile work environment. You do, however, need to prove that the workplace was hostile because of the sexual harassment. To gain legal advice about your situation, consult with our Albany sexual harassment lawyers to learn about possible options.
Choosing a Dependable Albany Sexual Harassment Attorney
When seeking the services of a sexual harassment lawyer in Albany, NY, you may want to hire a law firm that has handled similar cases. There are several factors to consider when choosing a legal team, such as:
- Legal fees
- Age of the law firm
- Number of positive reviews
- Association with other experts who can help with your case
- Ability to handle different sexual harassment-related situations, such as a wrongful termination
- How responsive they are to your case
Compensation You Can Receive From a Sexual Harassment Lawsuit in New York
You may recover damages for costs you incurred as a direct result of the sexual harassment you experienced at your place of work. You could receive compensation for:
- Back pay if you’ve been fired or forced to resign
- Medical bills
- Harm to your reputation
- Fees for career counseling
- Future pay if you were fired
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Punitive damages to hold your employer accountable
- Out-of-pocket expenses
Under the New York State Human Rights Law, there is no statutory cap on the amount of compensatory damage that a plaintiff can receive.
How Much a Sexual Harassment Lawyer in Albany Costs
Many New York law firms operate on a contingency fee basis and do not require any payment upfront. Upon winning your case, you can expect an Albany sexual harassment attorney’s fee to be somewhere between 30% to 40% of your total compensatory award. This amount can differ depending on the proceedings of the case and if individuals were hired to investigate.
With a contingency fee-based payment structure, clients can feel confident that their attorneys will do everything in their power to ensure they win as big of a payout as possible.
40% might seem like a large portion of the money to hand over to your attorney. However, even after paying your lawyer’s fees, you will likely be left with far more money than you would have received by representing yourself.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Sexual Harassment Lawsuit in New York?
When filing a sexual harassment lawsuit against your employer in New York, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of the incident. This window in which you can file was previously only one year, but in August of 2020, it was expanded.
While you have up to three years to file your lawsuit, it is always best to get started as soon as possible. Sexual harassment cases often rely heavily on witness testimony. When an employee is harassed physically or verbally, but not in any written form, the harassment can be difficult to prove.
Testimony from witnesses to the harassment or other victims of the harasser can be vital in these cases. However, memories become hazy over time, and as a result, witness testimony is deemed less reliable the further removed from the time of the incident.
An Albany Sexual Harassment Lawyer Is on Your Side
The Albany sexual harassment lawyers at Morelli Law Firm may be able to help you recover compensation for the sexual harassment you experienced. Our lawyers understand sexual harassment laws and have experience providing results to clients. We can give you space from the legal proceedings of your case when we represent you.
Even if you are unsure whether your situation qualifies, we encourage you to contact our firm for a free case evaluation. We know it can be difficult to step forward in a case of workplace sexual harassment. We will provide responsive, compassionate advocacy for you throughout the duration of our work together.