Sexual harassment affects over a million different people each year in the US. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the vast majority of incidents end up going unreported. This is for a variety of reasons, namely because of fear of losing one’s job, losing one’s reputation, or fear of not being believed.
If you were the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace in New York, know that you may be entitled to compensation under the law. Get in touch with an experienced New York-based sexual harassment lawyer today to find out more.
How do I know if what I’ve been through is illegal or not?
The EEOC’s defines sexual harassment as: “Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
- Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, or:
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting such individual, or:
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment
The keyword here is really “unwelcome,” and lawyers break up all sexual harassment lawsuits into two categories. They are:
- Quid pro quo
- Hostile work environment
Quid pro quo is when sex or sexual favors are used in some sort of attempted exchange. A classic example is someone’s boss or supervisor offering to promote them in exchange for sleeping with them. Often times victims are able to prove that they were punished in some way for refusing the offer, either by being demoted, excluded, or suffering some sort of job-related consequence.
Hostile Work Environment is when the victim is subject to some type of sexualized behavior that literally puts them in a “hostile work environment.” This can be a lot of different things, but some common scenarios are:
- Unwanted touching, kissing, or sexual advances
- Constant invitations for dates or sex, spamming someone’s phone
- Stalking, following someone around, waiting by their car at the end of the day
- Unsolicited nude photos or pornography
What are the laws on sexual harassment?
Most sexual harassment lawsuits cite Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This is a federal law that applies to all companies, public and private, with 15 or more employees. New York also has its own state-level labor code that applies to all employers, regardless of size.
The begin the legal process, anyone wishing to file a lawsuit must first file a complaint with the EEOC with 300 days of the last incident and potentially participate in an investigation.
Are you in need of legal assistance for a sexual harassment incident in New York?
Regardless of whether you’re in New York City or West Candor, qualified sexual harassment attorneys are waiting to assist you today.