Sparks, the well-known New York City steakhouse reached a $600,000 settlement of a male-on-male sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC said 22 male waiters at Spark were subjected to harassment based on their sex, chiefly by one male manager, over a nearly eight-year period. The agency said the misconduct included inappropriate comments and touching. Although many waiters complained to other managers and Sparks’ owners, the harassment did not stop and some suffered retaliation for complaining by being given more difficult work assignments and/or ultimately being suspended, the EEOC said.

All employees, no matter their sex, have a right to work in an environment free of sexual touching, verbal sexual abuse and sexual harassment under federal law; the law also prohibits business owners from retaliating against employees who complain.

In the workplace, there are two common types of sexual harassment. The first is known as quid pro quo harassment. This is a situation that may be a one-time occurrence or involve repeated behavior that requires one person to tolerate some form of sexual harassment in order to get a job, keep a job, get a raise or promotion, or to receive some other benefit. This harassment can come from a prospective employer, a current employer, a manager or supervisor, or a co-worker. The sex and sexual orientation of your harasser does not matter.

The second situation that gives rise to sexual harassment claims is the hostile work environment. Hostile work situations involve repeated behavior that is abusive or offensive, or that interferes or alters the victims’ ability to perform their job. Employers that foster or otherwise allow these conditions to continue can be found liable for the conduct of the offending employees. In either situation, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and many state-level anti-discrimination and sexual harassment statutes prohibit sexual harassment provide victims with a means of pursuing and obtaining justice.

At Leeds Brown Law, PC, our reputation as leaders in the areas of employment discriminationcivil rights and sexual harassment law stems from the extensive experience and success our lawyers have had with such cases. We have achieved that success through hard work, devotion to our clients and a commitment to maintaining the highest standards of professional responsibility and ethical conduct. For more information, contact Leeds Brown Law at 1-800-585-4658 for a free consultation or visit LMBLaw.com.