Long Island Sex Discrimination Lawyers Help Clients Understand Unlawful Behavior
Long Island sex harassment lawyers see many cases of sexual harassment each year. In 2015, employees filed more than 26,000 charges of sex discrimination/harassment with the EEOC. Despite the existence of Title VII and other federal and state laws prohibiting sex harassment, it is still an all too common workplace problem.
Sexual harassment consists of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature. It can be “quid pro quo” or create a hostile working environment. Quid pro quo is essentially when a supervisor requests a sexual favor and directly ties it to the threat or promise of something tied to your employment. A hostile environment may exist when unwanted comments or behavior is so pervasive that it makes your workplace feel unsafe or hostile.
The Long Island sex harassment lawyers at Leeds Brown have decades of experience representing clients in harassment cases. If you have been the victim of sexual harassment by a supervisor or co-worker, you should have strong advocates on your side to ensure that you recover monetary compensation or another outcome you desire. Holding employers accountable for unlawful behavior is our passion and it shows in the results we successfully obtain for our clients. Contact Long Island sex harassment attorneys at Leeds Brown for a free case evaluation and protect your right to equal and fair treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions About Workplace Sexual Harassment
Many clients come to us with questions about particular circumstances they experience and whether or not certain behaviors and situations rise to the level of unlawful sexual harassment. While every case depends on several different factors and interpretations, we will try to shed some light on some of the questions we hear most frequently.
Is sex harassment only when a man harasses a woman?
No. A man or a woman can sexually harass someone. The harasser and the victim may be of different or the same genders.
Is it sex harassment to ask a co-worker for a date?
No. It is not unlawful harassment to ask a co-worker for a date.
However, if a co-worker asks you out and you say no, your co-worker should respect your answer. Repeatedly asking you after you say no may be sexual harassment. If you ask the co-worker to stop asking, and they ignore you, it may be sexual harassment.
Can I be sexually harassed by a co-worker I used to date?
Yes. Having a relationship with someone does not prevent you from being able to file a Long Island sexual harassment claim. Sexual harassment is an unwanted sexual advance or hostile environment and can (and does) occur among people who once had an intimate relationship.
Is it sex harassment when someone comments on my clothing or my appearance?
Sometimes. If a co-worker or supervisor compliments you on an outfit, it is not necessarily sex harassment. For example, “you look nice today” or “that shirt looks good on you” would not likely be considered harassment.
But, if someone follows such benign comments with remarks about your physical attributes or inappropriate references to your body parts, it may be considered sexual harassment. For example, “that shirt looks good on you. It accentuates your womanly curves” or “you look nice today, it must be those tight pants” may be harassment.
Is it sex harassment when my boss gives her boyfriend a promotion instead of me?
No. It is sexual harassment if you are denied a promotion because you refuse to provide sexual favors to your supervisor. If your boss says “if you don’t sleep with me I will give this promotion to my boyfriend” it is sexual harassment. There is no harassment when your boss just decides to give the promotion to someone else.
Is it sexual harassment when a co-worker spends time downloading pornography onto his work computer?
Sometimes. If the employee is showing the material to you or discussing it with you and other co-workers, making you uncomfortable, it may be sexual harassment. The co-worker may be creating a hostile environment. Also, keep in mind, you can simply witness sexual harassment and file a sexual harassment complaint.
Is telling a sexual joke sexual harassment?
Sometimes. If someone tells you a joke that is mildly sexual but it offends you or another co-worker, it may be Long Island sexual harassment. Telling jokes of a sexual nature is deemed inappropriate at work. It can create or contribute to a hostile environment.
Is it unlawful sex harassment when a customer regularly makes offensive comments to me?
It can be. Your employer is responsible for handling sexual harassment when it is carried out by customers, clients, and vendors. If you inform your employer about the remarks and your employer does not take care of the matter, your employer can be liable for this third-party sex harassment.
Can my employer punish me for complaining about sex harassment?
Not legally. Many employers, however, do retaliate against employees for complaining about sex harassment or filing a claim with the EEOC or appropriate state agency. Retaliation is illegal. If your employer terminates your employment, demotes you, forces you to quit or otherwise penalizes you for filing a sexual harassment or any other kind of discrimination claim, your employer may be held liable for damages.
Long Island Sexual Harassment Lawyers Recover Monetary Damages
If you have been the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, you can hold your employer accountable for violating your rights. By contacting an experienced Long Island sexual harassment attorney at Leeds Brown, you can find out how to proceed with an EEOC claim and a lawsuit. You may have a case under Title VII and/or state law, and you may have multiple claims such as sexual harassment and retaliation.
Depending on your injuries, you may be entitled to recover a number of things in a successful claim. For example, if you were denied a promotion because of sex harassment, your remedy may include placement in the job you would have had but for the discrimination – including back pay and benefits, you would have received.
In some cases, you may receive compensatory or punitive damages as well. Compensatory damages reimburse victims for out-of-pocket expenses associated with the harassment as well as money for emotional distress. Punitive damages are designed to punish an employer for intentional, egregious behavior.
Having a strong advocate on your side can go a long way toward getting the best recovery you deserve in a sexual harassment case. Contact Long Island sex harassment lawyers today for a free case evaluation. We will help determine the best course of action for you to take if you are a victim of sex discrimination. Someone is here to take your call 24/7. Call Leeds Brown today at 1-800-585-4658.