Sexual Harassment

Employment Attorney Specializing In Sexual Harassment In the Workplace

Sexual harassment may take a tremendous toll on people victimized by it. The toll may be emotional as well as physical. Many victims face problems of anxiety, depression, insomnia, and more as a result of harassment. Federal, state, and local laws prohibit sexual harassment and allow victims to bring lawsuits with the assistance of a gender discrimination lawyer against the perpetrators of the harassment and their employers. It is unlawful for an employer with even one employee to commit sexual harassment against that employee. New York City sexual harassment attorney Emre Polat has extensive experience counseling and aggressively litigating on behalf of employees who have been subject to any form of sexual harassment.

Sexual Harassment

It is illegal to harass a job applicant or employee due to their sex. Harassment may include unwelcome sexual advances, offensive remarks, requests for sexual favors, demeaning gestures, assault, or other physical actions. The victim and the perpetrator may be either male or female, and they may also be the same sex or gender identity. Isolated incidents must be very severe to count as harassment. A harasser may be a supervisor, coworker, client, or customer of the victim.

Generally, sexual harassment becomes illegal if it is so frequent or so pervasive that the workplace would be considered a hostile work environment. For example, if a supervisor makes daily comments about women being lazy workers, this may be sexual harassment even if the comments are not sexually charged. In another example, if a manager gives an employee a sexually charged gift at a holiday party, this may be sexual harassment even though the manager may claim that it is a joke. Harassment is also illegal if it results in an adverse employment action, such as being fired, or if a worker is threatened with an adverse consequence if they fail to submit to the harassment.

A harasser's conduct needs to be unwelcome to be unlawful, and a victim should let the harasser know directly that they do not welcome the harassment and that the harasser should stop. In some cases, to be polite, a victim may smile or laugh, even though they are seething and anxious. This is not a wise idea, particularly in the event that the victim wants to pursue damages. It is important for a victim to tell the harasser to stop.

In order to bring a sexual harassment lawsuit a supervisor, an employee need not make a complaint if they feel like they will be retaliated against because they report to the supervisor. Sexual harassment in the workplace can be in may forms. A sexual harassment lawyer can help New York City and New Jersey residents make sure that they take the appropriate steps to ensure the employee is comfortable and to put a stop to the harassment. At many companies, this simply entails the employee filing a formal complaint with HR. An employer is supposed to have proper measures for complaints of such measures and must assure that the employee is not retaliated against for making such a complaint. In addition, the employer must investigate and discipline the perpetrator as appropriate.

Sexual harassment is prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act as well as the New York State Human Rights Law, New York City Human Rights Law and the New Jersey Laws Against Discrimination. If an employer does not respond appropriately to a complaint of sexual harassment, an employee may file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or choose to bring a lawsuit directly. The EEOC may investigate and may order the matter to mediation. If the EEOC issues a right to sue notice, an employee is permitted to proceed with a federal civil lawsuit. In many cases, however, it is a better course of action to proceed under state or local laws without filing a charge with the EEOC. In federal lawsuits based on laws enforced by the EEOC, damages are capped based on the size of the employer. In state court, there are no such caps to recovery.

Remember, an employer may not retaliate against an employee for filing an informal or formal complaint about sexual harassment. In some cases, employers are held liable for retaliation, even if a court ultimately decided that the conduct at issue did not count as sexual harassment under federal, state, or local laws.

Discuss a Sexual Harassment Claim with a New York City Attorney

Sexual harassment lawsuits may become quite emotional and heated. An experienced attorney can make sure that your rights are protected. New York City sexual harassment lawyer Emre Polat is recognized as an experienced and aggressive litigator providing representation to employees subject to sexual harassment in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island, as well as in Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties and in New Jersey. Call us at (212) 480-4500 or use our online form to set up a consultation. We can assist clients who need a wrongful termination lawyer or advice on another harassment-related claim.