All Workers May Face Sexual Harassment

New York Attorneys Representing Victims of Sexual Harassment in all Workplaces

Sexual harassment attorneys in New York, like the ones at Leeds Brown Law, P.C. know that sexual harassment, a form of gender discrimination, knows no boundaries. Anyone can experience sexual harassment in the workplace. Anyone can behave themselves in a manner that results in sexual harassment. Sometimes, co-workers are unaware that “playful banter” or “fooling around” has created an environment in the workplace that makes someone feel scared or uncomfortable. Other times, the perpetrator of sexual harassment knows full-well what he or she is doing, and either doesn’t care, or doesn’t think the victim will expose the conduct.

The victim of sexual harassment can be any gender as can the person doing the harassing. It can occur between parties of the same or different genders. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the federal law that makes employment discrimination unlawful, applies its sex discrimination provisions to men and women equally. Although men and women experience sexual harassment at work, it is female employees who bear the brunt of this behavior and file more complaints.

And just as sexual harassment can involve people of any gender, it can also occur at any place of business. Think about the variety of jobs that people hold and the different industries that exist. The potential for gender discrimination and sexual harassment exists in each one. Attorneys at Leeds Brown represent clients who have been sexually harassed at work by supervisors, co-workers, vendors, clients and customers. We have handled cases for victims in a variety of employment situations.

If you are the victim of sexual harassment at work, Leeds Brown has experience providing strong counsel and advocacy in employment discrimination cases. Our attorneys have everything you need to guide you through the process of filing a claim and recovering damages from your employer. We have earned our reputation for providing compassionate, yet aggressive representation for employees throughout the metropolitan New York area including Manhattan and Long Island. It is a reputation of which we are proud. Call us to learn about your legal rights as a victim of sexual harassment.

Sexual Harassment is Possible in All Places of Employment

The truth is, sexual harassment doesn’t just cross gender lines, it crosses industry lines as well. For as many ways there are to “commit” sexual harassment, there are as many industries where it occurs.

Do you have a job in a New York restaurant, bar or hotel?

The restaurant industry and other hospitality businesses are rife with claims of sexual harassment. Often, earners in low-wage jobs are so afraid of losing their paychecks that they don’t speak up against the behavior. It is, however, illegal for your employer to punish you or retaliate against you for trying to stop sexual harassment. If you complain to your boss or file a formal charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the New York State Division of Human Rights or the New York City Commission on Human Rights, and your employer fires you, demotes you or threatens you, you may also have a claim for retaliation.

Some common situations in the hospitality setting that give rise to claims of sexual harassment include:

  • A waitress works in a fancy restaurant and has a documented record of excellence. The new owner tells her that if she does not have sex with him, he will fire her.
  • A bartender in a hotel is repeatedly propositioned by a co-worker. The co-worker won’t take no for an answer and persists: leaving hotel room keys, sending emails, calling, and even waiting by the car at the end of the night. The bartender dreads going to work and is always in a bad mood. After complaining, the behavior continues.
  • A dishwasher in a busy kitchen is on the receiving end of a barrage of comments about her nice body and good looks. All the men in the back of the house catcall to her, make lewd gestures and even try to grab her. This conduct is so bad that she cannot get her work done.

Do you work for a tech company or on wall street?

It is not a secret (anymore) that sexual harassment in the tech industry, wall street firms, and other “old-boys’ clubs” is a problem. In recent years, cases have highlighted just how bad it can be and how little help victims may receive. When a business has a culture that tolerates and even promotes sexual harassment, it is even more important that victims seek help from an employment discrimination law firm that is supportive and seasoned.

Consider the following:

  • A woman is an assistant at a large wall street brokerage firm. Every Friday, the brokers who are all men, cater a big lunch with alcohol. They return to the office drunk and make sexual comments and hang all over her all afternoon which makes the assistant very uneasy. Sometimes it is so bad that she must leave for the day because she is afraid they will assault her. She can’t complain to her boss because he is one of the participants.
  • A female partner in a big law firm shares a beautiful window office with a co-worker who likes to talk dirty to her husband several times a day which interferes with her work. Despite repeated requests that she stop, the phone sex continues. When the partner complains to HR, they move her office to the basement.

Do you work for a TV network, production company, modeling agency or in the movie business?

The entertainment industry is rife with sexual harassment. In the last several months alone, women who work at various large networks have accused many men of sexual harassment, threats, and retaliation. Studio heads, directors, news anchors, and actors work in notoriously competitive industries. This competitiveness can lead to people in power preying on men and women who are afraid of being shut out of top jobs.

  • Consider the following scenarios:
  • You are a movie star who frequently guests on a talk show to promote your movies. The talent booker tells you that if you don’t sleep with her, she will never book you again and will tell others that you are terrible guest.
  • You have been promoted to the anchor desk finally! Your co-anchor asks you to dress more provocatively and “should show off your assets” to boost ratings. You try ignoring him, but he mentions it nearly every day and comments on your choice of outfit. It makes you so uncomfortable that you have trouble getting dressed and into work.

Do you have a job on a construction site? In a factory? An office? The fashion industry?

Remember, sexual harassment can occur anywhere at any time during your employment. It is unlawful when jokes, comments, propositions, photos, videos and unwanted touching are so pervasive and severe that they create a hostile working environment. A hostile working environment means that a reasonable person would be uncomfortable or feel unsafe in a similar situation. It often causes victims to have difficulty concentrating on their jobs. Sexual harassment can also occur when a supervisor, it must be a person with power over the victim, conditions a term of employment on the performance of a sexual act. This “type” of harassment is called “quid pro quo” which roughly translates to “something for something.”

Contact Us if You Have Been Sexually Harassed at Work

When you are the victim of sexual harassment or any gender discrimination, you have legal rights. Your employer must keep your workplace free from harassment. When it does not, you may be able to file a sexual harassment claim.

Contacting experienced sexual harassment attorneys is your first step toward healing from your ordeal. At Leeds Brown, our attorneys can guide you through the process of understanding your options, filing a claim with the appropriate agency or a lawsuit in a court. Our goal is to obtain the maximum recovery the law allows for sexual harassment and retaliation. You may able to receive monetary damages for lost wages and emotional distress. You may also be able to receive reinstatement or the promotion you lost because of someone’s unlawful actions.

Call Leeds Brown today to receive a free evaluation of your sexual harassment claim. We can be reached 24/7 at 1-800-585-4658. Time may be of the essence so don’t wait to find out what you can do to collect damages.