Coping with the Emotions of Sexual Harassment
Sexual Harassment Attorneys Help Victims Cope
Employment discrimination lawyers representing clients on Long Island, New York City and the surrounding areas, like the ones at Leeds Brown Law, P.C., know that when sexual harassment occurs in the workplace, it takes a tremendous toll on its victims. It can cause embarrassment and humiliation. It can cause the victim to lose self-esteem and become depressed or insecure. Whether sexual harassment happens behind closed doors or out in the open, the victim can suffer serious emotional trauma that has long-lasting psychological and even physical effects.
On top of the emotional and physical harm that sexual harassment can cause, it can also cause significant damage to the victim’s career.
It is not easy to cope with any aspect of sexual harassment. Will you have to quit your job? If you complain will it get worse? Will they fire you or demote you after all of your years of hard work? Deciding how to proceed during such an emotionally charged situation demands some assistance. Speaking with an experienced sexual harassment lawyer can help you figure out your next steps and provide the support you need to make informative decisions about your future.
At Leeds Brown, our New York sexual harassment attorneys have been assisting employees for decades who have been victims of employment discrimination. We know how hard this is for you because we have counseled thousands of clients and helped them navigate the legal process, removing stress and anxiety from the equation. We can help protect your legal rights and pursue remedies against your employer for sexual harassment and retaliation.
Leeds Brown practices law in a way that makes our clients know that they are more than a file. We take a team-based approach to matters, which means a knowledgeable member of the firm is always available to assist you. Our track record of successful outcomes speaks for itself. For personal and professional representation from employment discrimination lawyers in New York who care about clients and achieve results, call Leeds Brown.
What is Sexual Harassment?
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the federal law that prohibits workplace sex discrimination and retaliation. Sex discrimination includes sexual harassment. Sexual harassment can occur in different ways. There is quid pro quo harassment which occurs when one’s supervisor conditions or threatens an aspect of employment on the fulfillment of a sexual act. Hostile work environment sexual harassment occurs when one or more colleagues create an atmosphere that makes a reasonable person so uncomfortable that it interferes with the job.
Anyone who has experienced sexual harassment knows that it feels awful. Consider the following typical examples of workplace sex harassment:
- Your boss tells you that he will promote you if you have intercourse with him
- Your department manager says she will fire you if you refuse to accompany her to a hotel for the night
- You refuse the advances of your boss, and he transfers you to an out of state office for less pay
- Your co-worker repeatedly tries to hug you during the workday despite your protests
- Your colleagues regularly discuss their sex lives out in the open and ask you questions about yours even though you ask them not to
- Although you keep saying no to her, a colleague continues to ask you out. She begins waiting for you in the parking lot after work and greeting you first thing every morning at your desk, making you feel unsafe.
- After years of positive reviews, you receive a terrible one even though nothing about your work product changed. However, you recently cooperated in an investigation of sexual harassment.
Victims of Sexual Harassment are Not Alone
If any of these situations sound familiar to you, you are probably having a difficult time. Your self-esteem may be suffering and you may be blaming yourself for whatever is taking place. If you don’t know your options, you may feel powerless and stuck. It is important to know that you are by no means alone.
Thousands of people across the country every year file claims against their employers for sexual harassment that occurs in the workplace. The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) receives over 12,000 complaints of sex-based harassment each year, and well over 6,000 of them include allegations of sexual harassment. Of the sexual harassment charges filed with the EEOC in 2016, about 16% of them were from men.
There are also state and city laws that protect employees from sexual harassment. The New York State Division of Human Rights (NYSDHR) and the New York City Commission on Human Rights (NYCCHR) also accept complaints of sexual harassment and retaliation.
Because so many people experience sexual harassment, there are places to turn for help. While each case is different and may have unique circumstances, the effects of harassment on the victims are often the same. There are support groups, counselors and other resources available to help employees battle some of the emotional scars sexual harassment can leave.
Retaliation Claims Protect Employees’ Rights
Sexual harassment can also cause concern about future employment possibilities. For example, if your boss fired you in retaliation for filing an employment discrimination claim, will that affect your job prospects? What if your employer makes up negative things about you because of your refusal to submit to sexual advances? Should you report sexual harassment if it will jeopardize your entire career?
There is no simple answer for this, except that federal, state and city laws expressly prohibit employers from retaliating against any employee who complains about or pursues a claim for sexual harassment. If you went to the Human Resources Department, the EEOC, the NYSDHR, the NYCCHR, the police, a co-worker or elsewhere to report sexual harassment, your employer may not:
- Fire you
- Demote you
- Give you a negative performance review
- Reduce your pay
- Change your benefits
- Deduct money from your wages
- Transfer you
- Reassign you
- Target you by insults or with threats
Any of these actions may be illegal retaliation. Claims for sexual harassment frequently include retaliation claims. Often, the retaliation claim makes the case stronger.
You should not be afraid to stand up for your employment rights. You have worked too hard to see your career dissolve because your boss violated discrimination laws. At Leeds Brown, our attorneys can help you understand your options and navigate a successful sexual harassment claim against your employer. You may be able to receive financial compensation for your injuries as well as reinstatement to your job. Don’t let a sexual harassment claim mean the end of your career.
Sexual harassment hurts. You have the ability to try to hold your employer responsible for the actions of its workers. If you are the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, seek help from experienced lawyers like those at Leeds Brown, representing clients in New York City and the entire New York metropolitan area.
With patience and care, our skilled advocates can guide you through the process of filing a sexual harassment and retaliation claim with the EEOC, NYSDHR or NYCCHR, representing you through an investigation and negotiating a settlement with your employer. We can also aggressively defend your interests in court should you wish to file a civil lawsuit to recover damages. Leeds Brown has employment discrimination attorneys who are not afraid to fight for what’s right until our clients receive the compensation they deserve.
Call us at 1-800-585-4658 for a free consultation. There are time limits to file claims. We won’t know how much time you have until we hear the facts of your sexual harassment case – so, call now. We are available 24/7.