Sexual Discrimination & Sexual Harassment FAQs

1. What is “sexual discrimination”?

Sexual discrimination involves treating a current or potential employee unfavorably because of that person’s sex. Sexual discrimination may also involve treating someone less favorably merely because of his or her connection or association with a particular organization or group that is generally associated with individuals of a certain sex.

Leeds Brown Law, P.C. has represented thousands of employees in employment related disputes. Such employment disputes consist of FLSA, discrimination, and harassment claims. Our efforts have resulted in millions of dollars in monetary and non monetary benefits for our clients.

We would be happy to discuss your sexual harassment or sexual discrimination matter in confidence, and provide free consultations to answer your questions and evaluate your claim. Contact us today to discover how we can help you.

2. What is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964?

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a federal legislation that prohibits employment discrimination based on a person’s race, color, religion, national origin, or sex. Title VII forbids discrimination with regards to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoffs, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment. The law also makes it illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee because the employee has complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or has participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit. Title VII also requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for their current and potential employees’ sincerely held religious practices, so long as doing so would not impose an undue burden or hardship on the employer’s business operations.

Title VII applies to and covers an employer who has fifteen (15) or more employees for twenty (20) or more weeks in the current or preceding calendar year.

Leeds Brown Law, P.C., has extensive experience with sexual discrimination and harassment in the workplace. Our efforts have resulted in large monetary compensation for employees throughout Long Island and New York.

We would be happy to discuss your employment discrimination or harassment matter in confidence, and provide free consultations to answer your questions and evaluate your claim. Contact us today to discover how we can help you.

3. What is an “employer”?

Pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the term “employer” means a person engaged in any industry affecting commerce who has 15 or more employees for 20 weeks, and any agent of such a person. Not included in the definition of “employer” are the United States, a corporation wholly owned by the United States Government, any department or agency of the District of Columbia, or an Indian Tribe.

State and local laws may vary according to what they consider an “employer” for discrimination purposes. For example, New York State and New York City anti-discrimination laws broaden their protection by covering employers who have just 4 or more employees.

At Leeds Brown Law, P.C., our reputation as leaders in the areas of employment discrimination, civil 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.

We would be happy to discuss your employment discrimination or harassment matter in confidence, and provide free consultations to answer your questions and evaluate your claim. Contact us today to discover how we can help you.

4. What is an “employee”?

An “employee” is defined under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act as an individual who is employed by an employer. The term “employee”, however, does not include any person elected to public office, any person chosen by a public officer to serve on such officer’s personal staff, or an appointee on the policy making level or an immediate adviser with respect to the exercise of the constitutional or legal powers of the office.

At Leeds Brown Law, P.C., our reputation as leaders in the areas of employment discrimination, civil 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.

We would be happy to discuss your employment discrimination or harassment matter in confidence, and provide free consultations to answer your questions and evaluate your claim. Contact us today to discover how we can help you.

5. What relief is available to an employee who proves a legitimate claim of sexual discrimination?

Pursuant to Title VII, an employee may be entitled to back-pay and benefits with interest, front-pay and benefits, punitive damages, and compensatory damages for willful violations to compensate for mental or physical damages suffered by the employer’s discriminatory conduct. In addition, the victim may potentially be reimbursed for attorney’s fees and other legal expenses.

Leeds Brown Law, P.C. has represented thousands of employees in employment related disputes. Such employment disputes consist of FLSA, discrimination, and harassment claims. Our efforts have resulted in millions of dollars in monetary and non monetary benefits for our clients.

We would be happy to discuss your sexual harassment or sexual discrimination matter in confidence, and provide free consultations to answer your questions and evaluate your claim. Contact us today to discover how we can help you.

6. What is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)?

The EEOC is the federal agency of the United States Government that enforces the federal employment discrimination laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The EEOC investigates, mediates, and may file lawsuits on behalf of employees. Please visit the EEOC’s website for further information: www.eeoc.gov.

Leeds Brown Law, P.C., has extensive experience with sexual discrimination and harassment in the workplace. Our efforts have resulted in large monetary compensation for employees throughout Long Island and New York.

We would be happy to discuss your employment discrimination or harassment matter in confidence, and provide free consultations to answer your questions and evaluate your claim. Contact us today to discover how we can help you.

7. What are Fair Employment Practices Agencies (FEPAs)?

In addition to federal laws, many states, counties, cities, and towns have enacted their own legislation prohibiting discrimination and have formed their own agencies to enforce those laws. Such state and local agencies are referred to as “Fair Employment Practices Agencies” (FEPAs). Similarly to the EEOC, state FEPAs enforce Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and in doing so, they investigate, mediate, and may file lawsuits on behalf of employees. In fact, every state, with the exception of Arkansas and Mississippi, maintains a state FEPA.

In some states, FEPAs enforce laws that offer greater protection to employees than the protection provided in federal laws. In fact, New York City anti-discrimination laws provide greater protection than Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. However, in the event that a state law is contradicted by or in conflict with a federal law, the federal law preempts and the state law is overridden.

Leeds Brown Law, P.C., has extensive experience with sexual discrimination and harassment in the workplace. Our efforts have resulted in large monetary compensation for employees throughout Long Island and New York.

We would be happy to discuss your employment discrimination or harassment matter in confidence, and provide free consultations to answer your questions and evaluate your claim. Contact us today to discover how we can help you.

8. What is “sexual harassment”?

Sexual harassment is a form of sexual discrimination that occurs in the workplace. Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations defines “sexual harassment” as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual, or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.” (29 CFR § 1604.11 [1980])

There are two common types of sexual harassment in the workplace. The first type, quid pro quo harassment, is a situation that may either be just a one-time occurrence or may involve repeated conduct that requires an individual to tolerate some form of sexual harassment in order to obtain or maintain employment, get a raise or promotion, or to receive some other benefit. The harasser may be a prospective employer, a current employer, a manager or supervisor, or even a co-worker.

The second type of sexual harassment in the workplace is the hostile work environment. These situations involve repeated behavior or conduct that is abusive or offensive, or that interferes or alters the victims’ ability to perform their job.

Regardless of the type of sexual harassment, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and many state laws that prohibit sexual harassment provide victims with protection and a means of obtaining justice from their harasser. In addition, employers who foster or condone sexual harassment in the workplace may be held liable for the offensive conduct of the harasser employee.

At Leeds Brown Law, P.C., our reputation as leaders in the areas of employment discrimination, civil 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.

We would be happy to discuss your employment discrimination or harassment matter in confidence, and provide free consultations to answer your questions and evaluate your claim. Contact us today to discover how we can help you.

9. Does harassment have to be of a sexual nature to be considered sexual harassment?

No. Harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature to be considered sexual harassment. Sexual harassment may be sexual in nature or it may be based on the employee’s sex. In fact, offensive remarks about an individual’s sex in general is considered sexual harassment.

Anti-discrimination laws do not prohibit mere teasing, offhand comments, or insignificant isolated incidents; however, harassment is illegal when it is severe or pervasive that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision.

Leeds Brown Law, P.C. has represented thousands of employees in employment related disputes. Such employment disputes consist of FLSA, discrimination, and harassment claims. Our efforts have resulted in millions of dollars in monetary and non monetary benefits for our clients.

We would be happy to discuss your sexual harassment or sexual discrimination matter in confidence, and provide free consultations to answer your questions and evaluate your claim. Contact us today to discover how we can help you.

10. What are some examples of sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment that occurs in the workplace involves any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature or related to an individual’s sex. The harasser can be an individual’s supervisor, a supervisor in another area of the office, a co-worker, or even someone who does not work for the employer, such as a customer or client. Sexual harassment can include sexual comments, jokes, touching, gestures, pressure for dates or sexual favors, pictures or illustrations. Additionally, harassment can include non-sexual conduct that is merely based on an individual’s gender. For example, comments about certain types of jobs being “women’s work” is considered sexual harassment.

Leeds Brown Law, P.C., has extensive experience with sexual discrimination and harassment in the workplace. Our efforts have resulted in large monetary compensation for employees throughout Long Island and New York.

We would be happy to discuss your employment discrimination or harassment matter in confidence, and provide free consultations to answer your questions and evaluate your claim. Contact us today to discover how we can help you.

11. Are men protected from sexual discrimination and harassment?

Yes. Federal and state laws prohibiting sexual discrimination and harassment in the workplace apply to both men and women. Both the victim and the harasser can be either a woman or a man, and the victim and harasser can be of the same-sex.

At Leeds Brown Law, P.C., our reputation as leaders in the areas of employment discrimination, civil 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.

We would be happy to discuss your employment discrimination or harassment matter in confidence, and provide free consultations to answer your questions and evaluate your claim. Contact us today to discover how we can help you.

12. Are there protections for discrimination based on an individual’s sexual orientation?

Although federal law does not prohibit discrimination or harassment based on an individual’s sexual orientation, it does prohibit same-sex harassment. In addition, some state and local laws provide more protection by specifically prohibiting discrimination based on one’s sexual orientation.

New York State law, as well as New York City, law protects individuals from being discriminated against based on their sexual orientation. In New York, it is illegal to harass an individual based solely on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Leeds Brown Law, P.C., has extensive experience with sexual discrimination and harassment in the workplace. Our efforts have resulted in large monetary compensation for employees throughout Long Island and New York.

We would be happy to discuss your employment discrimination or harassment matter in confidence, and provide free consultations to answer your questions and evaluate your claim. Contact us today to discover how we can help you.

13. Can an employer punish an employee for reporting a claim of sexual discrimination or harassment?

No. All employees have a right to be protected from retaliation by their employers. In fact, it is illegal for an employer to punish, harass or treat an employee differently because of any report of discrimination.

Leeds Brown Law, P.C., has extensive experience with sexual discrimination and harassment in the workplace. Our efforts have resulted in large monetary compensation for employees throughout Long Island and New York.

We would be happy to discuss your employment discrimination or harassment matter in confidence, and provide free consultations to answer your questions and evaluate your claim. Contact us today to discover how we can help you.

14. Can an employer pay an employee less than employees of the opposite sex who perform the same job?

No. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 is a federal law that requires that men and women in the same workplace be given equal pay for equal work. The Equal Pay Act makes it illegal for an employer to pay men and women who perform substantially the same job at the same work location differently solely because of their sex. This covers all forms of employee compensation as well as benefits, including salary, overtime pay, bonuses, stock options, profit-sharing, vacation, holiday and sick pay, travel expenses, etc. In addition, if there is a disparity in pay between men and women employees, an employer may not equalize compensation by reducing the wages of those employees who are being paid more.

Leeds Brown Law, P.C. has represented thousands of employees in employment related disputes. Such employment disputes consist of FLSA, discrimination, and harassment claims. Our efforts have resulted in millions of dollars in monetary and nonmonetary benefits for our clients.

We would be happy to discuss your sexual harassment or sexual discrimination matter in confidence, and provide free consultations to answer your questions and evaluate your claim. Contact us today to discover how we can help you.

15. Are there anti-discrimination protections for individuals who are not United States Citizens?

It is illegal to discriminate or harass an individual based on their citizenship status. In fact, New York state law provides specific protections for non-citizens who are harassed or discriminated against based on their citizenship status.

At Leeds Brown Law, P.C., our reputation as leaders in the areas of employment discrimination, civil 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.

We would be happy to discuss your employment discrimination or harassment matter in confidence, and provide free consultations to answer your questions and evaluate your claim. Contact us today to discover how we can help you.