According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), sexual harassment is any sexually unwanted behavior toward a coworker, either verbal or physical, that directly or indirectly affects job performance, promotion opportunities, or work environment.
Sexual harassment at work is unacceptable and creates a hostile work environment. If you are in such a situation, you can hire a New York personal injury lawyer at Morelli Law Firm to represent you in your case. Our law firm also offers free case evaluations, allowing you to ask questions before we begin working for you.
Sexual Harassment Can Manifest in Various Ways at a Workplace
If you are not sure you have grounds to file a sexual harassment case, our team can review the details and then have a NY sexual harassment lawyer from our team investigate your situation. However, just know that sexual harassment can take on many forms at work, such as:
- A boss or a supervisor asking for sex from an employee
- A physical assault or touch
- Comments describing an individual in sexually degrading ways
- Making derogatory comments and jokes
- Making sexual gestures
- Giving employment benefits in exchange for sex
In general, sexual harassment is defined as unwanted sexual conduct. While many cases involve men sexually harassing women at the workplace, any gender is capable of sexual harassment and can be held liable for their actions.
Also, employers are not the only party who can be held liable for sexual harassment. Other employees, staff members, contractors, and even customers at a business can be held liable for their misconduct.
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Sex-Based Discrimination Is Another Form of Sexual Harassment
Many people connotate “sexual harassment” with sexual advances of some sort; however, the harassment does not have to be sexual in nature. If you were harassed based on your sex, gender, or sexual orientation, this could also constitute sexual harassment, according to the EEOC.
Referred to as “sex-based discrimination,” this type of harassment can involve:
- Derogatory or offensive remarks on your sex, gender, or orientation
- Being denied promotions or other job opportunities due to your gender
- Discrimination toward your gender identity, such as being purposely misgendered or denied accommodations to make you feel safer at the workplace
- Creating a hostile environment toward you
If you believe you are being mistreated because of your sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation, our sexual harassment attorneys in New York want to review your case and fight for your rights.
You May Be Entitled to Compensated for Being a Victim of Sexual Harassment
Victims of sexual harassment can file a claim with the EEOC and pursue compensation for the discrimination and/or harassment they suffered. In doing so, you may be able to recover multiple types of damages, such as:
- Back pay and front pay
- Out-of-pocket costs involved with searching for another job (if you were fired or forced to leave their workplace)
- Medical expenses, such as costs for sex-related exams, diagnostic tests, doctor’s appointments, surgeries, etc.
- Costs for psychological treatment if the harassment caused trauma
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished quality of life
- Legal fees, such as attorney’s fees and court fees
You may also receive punitive damages, which serve as a punishment toward the harasser. These damages are awarded if the harassment was particularly malicious.
How a New York Sexual Harassment Attorney Can Help
Knowing who to report to if you have been a victim of sexual harassment is crucial. Should you decide to work with our team, we can guide you through this process and help you build a case against the perpetrator. Some things to know about reporting on sexual harassment include:
The company’s policies may require you to report the matter to a manager or human resources. If the perpetrator is a manager, you are not required to report to the company owner, but you may report the incident to any form of law enforcement.
A NY sexual harassment lawyer from our firm can help you in all the phases of your lawsuit, including reporting the sexual harassment to the New York Combating Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Program.
Other Services Our Team Can Provide
Having to relive the events that made you uncomfortable or traumatized you can be overwhelming. However, you are not alone when you work with our team.
Rather than burden yourself with legal tasks, we can manage your case on your behalf and keep you updated as it progresses. Our services include:
- Conducting a private investigation into your case to retrieve evidence about the harassment
- Communicating with interested parties on your behalf, such as your employer and other legal attorneys
- Filing paperwork on your behalf
- Serving as your legal advocate during court hearings, settlement negotiations, and other legal appearances
We Can Help Protect You If Your Employer Retaliates
LAB § 740 prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who report sexual harassment cases at their workplace. An employer can retaliate in various forms, such as contract termination or disciplinary action against the victim.
Therefore, our team can investigate whether a manager removed you from particular projects or excluded you from social events or meetings after reporting the sexual harassment. We can identify whether these are retaliation actions.
Although we can assist you during investigations, the law clearly states that your employer should investigate any sexual harassment complaint. Keep in mind that the employer cannot take adverse actions against you when the investigations are ongoing, including firing you.
How Long do You Have to File a Claim for Sexual Harassment in New York?
Under the New York City Human Rights Law, if you are interested in pursuing a claim for sexual harassment in New York, you must take action before three years have passed. However, the exact statute of limitations for your sexual harassment claim can vary considerably.
For example, does the statue of limitations end three years from the date of the first incident of sexual harassment? Does it end on the date of the last incident of sexual harassment? What if you were unaware that you were being sexually harassed until a later date?
If you do not file your sexual harassment lawsuit before the time limit runs out, you will, unfortunately, no longer have the opportunity to recover compensation for your damages. You must take action to protect your right to restitution. You can get the legal clarity and advice to figure out how to approach your personal injury case. Retain a sexual harassment attorney working with New York families for help.
New York Sexual Harassment FAQs
The process for pursuing a claim for sexual harassment in New York can be daunting. You probably have many unanswered questions about what to expect from the claims process (and more about your case).
In the hopes of easing your mind, we have answered some of the more frequently asked questions around New York sexual harassment claims. If you have other questions that were not answered on this page, contact our office to discuss your concerns during your initial consultation.
Will I Have to Testify in Court?
You might need to bring your case to court if you hope to bring the liable party or parties to justice. However, many sexual harassment cases in New York can be resolved through mediation or arbitration proceedings. You can figure out what steps your case should take when speaking with your sexual harassment attorney.
What Is “Quid Pro Quo”?
Quid pro quo is Latin for “this for that.” It is used to refer to a type of sexual harassment when a person in a position of power makes an unwelcome sexual advance towards someone else in exchange for:
- A promotion
- A pay raise
- Another incentive
The perpetrator could threaten the victim’s job and coerce them into sexual activity to “keep” their position.
Can I Collect Punitive Damages for Sexual Harassment?
Yes, the court could award you punitive damages in your New York sexual harassment claim. However, punitive damages are not a traditional form of compensation.
Punitive damages are only awarded in cases where the court finds it necessary to impose additional punishment on the company in question. The idea is to deter the perpetrator from engaging in similar acts in the future.
Start Working With a Sexual Harassment Lawyer in NY Today
At Morelli Law Firm, we want to review your sexual harassment case. We understand that these experiences can be degrading and have physical, mental, and emotional effects. Our legal team can help you find closure by guiding you on how to pursue compensation, handle the emotional trauma, and move on after the experience.
If you face sexual harassment from your boss, supervisor, or coworker, you can take legal action and hire a sexual harassment attorney from our New York team to help you prepare your case. At Morelli Law Firm, our attorneys will work to protect your rights and pursue compensation for your losses. Contact us today for a free consultation at (646) 722-0323.