The legal definition of sexual harassment is very broad and includes any sexual behavior that is unwanted and offensive. The moment that someone in the workplace makes it unclear that another person’s behavior is unwanted or offensive, the behavior should stop immediately. There are laws in place at the state, local and federal levels to protect workers from having to experience any sexual behavior that is unwanted and offensive in the workplace. This includes any visual displays of sexually offensive content, such as graphic images or displaying body parts in the workplace.
The attorneys of Leeds Brown Law proudly advocate on behalf of victims of visual sexual harassment in New York City by filing civil claims for damages.
Some common forms of visual sexual harassment in the workplace include explicit or lewd looks or gestures directed at another person or sexual images, such as graphic email attachments, pictures, computer images, calendars, magazines, posters and other graphic images. They are prohibited by law in the same way that verbal harassing comments and physical advances are not permitted.
Employers in New York City with less than 15 employees are covered by the restrictions of the New York City Human Rights Law and the New York State Human Rights Law. An employer with more than 15 employees is also subject to Title VII of federal gender discrimination laws. You should certainly work with a knowledgeable sexual harassment lawyer in New York City before deciding which law to file your sexual harassment claim under because there may be restrictions on the amount of damages that you can recover under federal law.
It may be challenging to file a claim for visual sexual harassment based on a single incident of a graphic image displayed in the workplace. However, the nature of the behavior and the employer’s history with sexual harassment claims may come into play. The creation of a hostile work environment based on visual sexual harassment is typically the result of a pattern of inappropriate behavior that interferes with an employee’s ability to do his or her job.
Gender discrimination claims involve an employee asserting that he or she was treated in a negative way based on their gender. Employees who present incidents of offensive visual harassment in the workplace may face unlawful retaliation from their superiors, which gives rise to a gender discrimination claim. Employees may also face retaliation in the form of isolation or lack of promotion opportunities because they refuse to participate in harassing behaviors. This similarly means that the employee has a claim for sexual harassment.
The type and amount of damages that an employee can recover for visual sexual harassment in the workplace depend on the severity of the behavior that the employee endured and how his or her employment status was affected. Compensatory damages attempt to restore the employee to the financial and employment status he or she would have had if not for the harassment in the workplace. Emotional distress damages compensate an employee for the emotional trauma as a result of the harassment. Punitive damages are harsh and punish an employer for a history of not addressing sexual harassment claims or permitting particularly offensive hostile work environments.
At Leeds Brown Law, our attorneys work tirelessly on behalf of victims of sexual harassment to ensure that they are compensated justly for their experience. Call us right away at 866-728-5015 if you or a loved one have been a victim of visual sexual harassment in New York. We will set up a free initial consultation to learn about the details of your claim and get started helping you recover for the sexual harassment you experienced.