Sexual Harassment: No One Should Be Forced to Work in a Hostile Environment

New York sexual harassment lawyers at Leeds Brown see a growing number of sexual harassment claims each year. If you are being harassed at work, have a wage-hour issue or any questions about workplace discrimination, you may want to speak with an attorney. Using our experience, we can successfully navigate your employment case with compassion and dedication.

Are you being harassed at your job in New York City? Is someone making you uncomfortable or frightening you? We understand that it is not always easy to come forward and ask for help when you are facing harassment because of your gender identity, race, religion or disability. The emotional stress you must be feeling, along with the fear of losing your job, complicates your situation.

The New York employment law firm of Leeds Brown has decades of experience as a full service employment and sexual harassment law firm. Our attorneys can help guide you through your sexual harassment or discrimination claim with skill and care. We have had much success over the years settling and litigating sexual harassment claims. Our lawyers will work tirelessly on your behalf to secure the compensation you deserve.

There are Two Kinds of Sexual Harassment in New York

There are essentially two types of sexual harassment that form the basis of all New York sexual harassment claims; “hostile work environment” and “quid pro quo” sexual harassment. Quid pro quo means “something for something.” Harassment of this kind occurs when a person with authority promises to do something or refrain from doing something, in return for a sexual favor from a subordinate.

The demand can be overtly stated or implied. The demand does not have to be explicitly sexual. For example, a manager subtly hinting that he will promote his secretary if she has dinner with him may constitute quid pro quo harassment. A supervisor promising not to “write up” a subordinate in exchange for sex may be quid pro quo sexual harassment as well.

What is Hostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment?

Hostile work environment-sexual harassment occurs when harassment is so pervasive that it makes the workplace uncomfortable, unpleasant, unsafe or offensive to the victim. In this case, an employee may feel the need to quit, be unable to properly concentrate on his or her job or experience stress and anxiety. Some examples of behaviors that may create a hostile environment include:

  • Jokes of a sexual nature
  • Displays offensive or sexual materials
  • Repeated unwanted advances
  • Persistent requests for dates
  • Persistent sexual innuendo or unwanted flirting
  • Interference with movement such as hugging or blocking the hallway

Do You Have a New York Sexual Harassment Claim?

It is important to know that the conduct must be “unwelcome and either frequent or pervasive (or both)” to be considered a hostile environment. Each situation is determined on a case by case basis. For example, a male employee asking a disinterested female co-worker on a date, may be a case of unrequited interest and not sexual harassment. However, asking her out with sexually explicit emails, blocking her from getting past his desk, and leaving gifts on her desk each day may rise to the level of sexual harassment.

In order to determine if the conduct creates a hostile work environment, the court may consider such things as whether the conduct was verbal or physical, the frequency of the conduct, whether the perpetrator was a supervisor or co-worker, the number of participants in the offensive conduct and whether the harassment. The court may also consider whether the offensive behavior was directed at or affected one person or several.

You can be a Victim of Sexual Harassment in New York Even if You are Not the Target

It is important to note that you may have a claim for hostile work environment sexual harassment even if you are not the direct target of the harassment. Inappropriate behavior by and toward other co-workers can create a hostile work environment for you.

The victims of sexual harassment are often women, but men can experience sexual harassment as well. Sexual harassment can also occur between members of the same gender.

Regardless of your gender, going to work should not make you feel frightened, uncomfortable, unsafe or ill. If someone’s behavior at your place of employment causes you to experience any of these feelings, you may want to speak to our a New York sexual harassment attorneys.

Who is Responsible for New York Sexual Harassment?

Since no direct employment benefit is at risk in a typical sexual harassment case that is based on hostile work environment, this kind of harassment claim does not require that the parties have a supervisor/subordinate relationship. Hostile work environment sexual harassment can occur across any and all levels of employees.

In order to hold the employer responsible under a hostile work environment sexual harassment claim, the victim must prove that the employer knew or should have known about the offensive conduct; and that the employer failed to take steps to prevent it.

New York Sexual Harassment Attorneys Can Help You Recover Damages

If you are working in a hostile work environment or have been forced to leave your job due to sexual harassment, you may be entitled to collect monetary damages from your employer. Learn about your legal rights by speaking with an experienced New York City sexual harassment attorney at Leeds Brown.

You may be able to collect damages such as back pay, money for emotional distress, reinstatement, and promotion. You may also be entitled to punitive damages. Punitive damages are designed to punish the employer and dissuade them from engaging or allowing similar behavior in the future.

The New York attorneys at Leeds Brown have been handling sexual harassment cases and discrimination cases for decades. We have a dedicated team of employment law professionals who are available around the clock to take your calls and work on your behalf. We understand what it takes to prove a sexual harassment claim in New York and are not afraid to take such cases to trial if needed. Call Leeds Brown today at 1-800-585-4658 for a free case evaluation.