Are you a victim of sexual harassment who is wondering where to seek help? You may be able to file a lawsuit and recover compensation for any losses you experienced with the help of a sexual harassment lawyer in Long Island.
An attorney specializing in sexual harassment law can help you pursue a settlement. Working with a lawyer shows your harasser that you’re not going to take their abuse. We helped one client recover $95M in a sexual harassment claim. Call to find out what we can do for you.
Understanding Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment happens in many ways. Despite popular belief, anyone can suffer from sexual harassment, regardless of gender. Sexual harassment does not only occur between people of the opposite sex. For example, a man can sexually harass another man, and a woman can also harass a woman.
We handle cases of both men and women who undergo sexual harassment by other individuals at their workplaces. Perpetrators may include owners, managers, supervisors, and co-workers. If any of the following is happening to you, you may have a valid claim:
- Inappropriate touching
- Sexual jokes
- Sexual assault
- Sexual coercion, advances, or propositions
- Verbal harassment such as sexual comments or questions
- Phone calls with sexual content
- Offers of sexually suggestive gifts
- Requests for sexual favors
- Threats concerning one’s job performance evaluation or promotion
- Pressure for unwelcome sexual activities
- Displays of lewd photographs or drawings
- Engaging in or rejecting sexual conduct is used as a basis for decisions affecting employment
Fortunately, our Long Island sexual harassment lawyers are dedicated to stopping any form of sexual harassment. They will help you secure compensation by evaluating your situation and explaining your rights as an employee. Everyone has a right to respect, and lawyers use their knowledge and skills to understand your case to pursue compensation.
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Quid Pro Quo and Hostile Work Environment
The two most prevalent types of workplace sexual harassment are quid pro quo and hostile work environment. If you have been victimized by either of these forms of harassment, you can file a sexual harassment claim.
Quid Pro Quo
Quid pro quo is one of the most common types of workplace sexual harassment. Unfortunately, because of the power dynamics involved, it often goes unreported.
With quid pro quo sexual harassment, a supervisor requests sexual favors from an employee, with it either expressly stated or implied that the employee’s work situation will be affected by their answer.
Quid pro quo sexual harassment can involve benefits for the employee being harassed, such as a promotion or a pay raise. Alternatively, this form of sexual harassment can use punishment as a motivator instead, with the victim facing being fired or demoted if they do not submit.
Hostile Work Environment
A harassment victim can suffer this type of harassment from a single supervisor or coworker, or from multiple sources. A hostile work environment can make an employee feel unsafe at work and make it difficult for them to fulfill their duties.
A hostile work environment can be created through:
- Sexist remarks
- Inappropriate pictures, comments, or jokes
- Questions about sexual history
- Gifts of a sexual nature
- Repeated advances
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Seeking Justice for Sexual Harassment
If you’ve been sexually harassed, the first thing to do is file a complaint with either the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the New York Division of Human Rights. Your lawyer can explain with which agency to file your complaint. These organizations may authorize you to file a lawsuit through an official letter or decide the matter themselves.
Keep in mind that it is illegal under New York Labor Laws §740 for the perpetrator to retaliate if the claim involves your workplace. Retaliation can be the termination of your contract, assignment of less desirable duties, or pay cuts. Fortunately, once you file a case with the federal or state government, the law protects you and any witnesses from these actions.
You may decide to file a federal or state claim, but if you feel overwhelmed, hiring an attorney for legal representation as the lawsuit progresses may help. A Long Island sexual harassment lawyer can assist you with all these processes.
The Role of Employers in Workplace Sexual Harassment
Employers should prevent any instances of sexual harassment in the workplace by offering relevant training to supervisors and staff every year. Also, if an employee gets promoted to the position of supervisor, the person should get adequate training on how to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.
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Sexual Harassment Prevention Training
The sexual harassment training for all staff should be in-depth and include a variety of topics, such as:
- What sexual harassment is under federal statutes and relevant state laws
- What conduct constitutes sexual harassment
- Government and firm policies for assisting sexual harassment victims, including how employees should raise complaints in case of harassment and the remedies available
- How employers should correct harassment
- Effective policies to prevent sexual harassment and implementation methods
Note that the above list does not contain all of the possible training. If you are an employer, you may want to hire experts to provide this training.
Deadline for Filing a Sexual Harassment Claim in Long Island
In 2020, the state of New York extended the deadline for filing a sexual harassment lawsuit. The statute of limitations for filing a sexual harassment complaint with the Division is now three years from the date of the incident.
If you do not file your claim by this time, you may lose the right to seek justice and compensation. Your case could be turned away from the Division of Human Rights.
New York State Laws Against Sexual Harassment
Your Long Island sexual harassment lawyer can inform you of relevant New York state laws that could impact your case. Harassment is illegal whenever an individual is subjected to inferior terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.
The harassment you are facing does not need to be a repeated offense for you to file a claim. One incident can be sufficient for your claim. Under the Human Rights Law, harassment does not have to be considered severe or pervasive to be unlawful.
New York’s Human Rights Law prohibits retaliation when filing a complaint with your employer or the state. If you feel you are a victim of retaliation, a Long Island lawyer can help you contact the Division of Human Rights to file a complaint.
Establishing Liability in a Sexual Harassment Case
The harassment you experience does not need to be severe or pervasive in order for the employer to be liable. In order to establish liability, you do not have to identify another individual who, in a similar situation, was treated more favorably. You also do not have to complain to your employer or file a formal grievance to establish liability.
Recoverable Damages for Sexual Harassment Victims
If you were the victim of workplace sexual harassment, you may be eligible to recover significant compensation for the damages you have suffered. Depending on the specific circumstances surrounding the harassment you endured, you could receive money for:
- Lost wages, bonuses, commissions, and tips
- Lost benefits, including 401k and paid time off
- Medical expenses, including psychological counseling
- Non-economic damages for pain and suffering and mental anguish
Additionally, if you lost your job in any manner related to the sexual abuse that you suffered, a sexual harassment attorney could help get your position reinstated.
Long Island Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Morelli Law Firm
If you have experienced sexual harassment at your job before, you know how traumatizing it can be. Most harassed individuals feel helpless and may not know what to do. What many victims do not know is that sexual harassment is unlawful and not tolerated under the law.
Although each case is different, there are some guidelines to follow if you think you have been the victim of sexual harassment at your job. In general, if anyone threatens your safety either physically or psychologically, do not fail to contact an agency of law enforcement.
Keep a record of all occurrences of suggestive conduct and include details, witnesses, dates, and times. If it is through correspondence, you can save evidence like texts, emails, or voicemails. They will help your Long Island sexual harassment attorney to prove your claim.
A Final Word From Morelli Law Firm
No one deserves sexual harassment at work. Do not live with fear, shame, or embarrassment. By standing your ground, you can bring the culprit to justice. You may not know how to proceed with filing a lawsuit, but our team of lawyers at Morelli Law Firm is here to guide you.
If you face challenges due to the complex legal processes, do not hesitate to call us. We are ready to help you hold your harasser accountable in civil court.