Westchester County, New York Sexual Harassment Lawyer
Sexual Harassment is wrong and should not be tolerated in any workplace. For over 25 years, Our Westchester County Sexual Harassment Lawyers have protected the rights of men and women. That's right - both men and women are protected under the law. In addition, federal and state laws protect employees who make a good faith complaint from retaliation. Call our Employment Lawyers at (800) 893-9645 if you believe you are being harassed in the workplace.
What is Sexual Harassment?
Our Employment Law attorneys have often lectured on this topic. Sexual Harassment occurs when an employer (or its agent - such as a highly valued customer) subjects an employee to unwelcome verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature that affects the employee's employment, interferes with the employee's work performance, or creates a hostile work environment. In New York, employers with more than 4 employees may be subject to sexual harassment laws.
What are the two Types of Sexual Harassment?
- Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment: This occurs when an employer requires an employee to submit to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature as a condition of employment, either implicitly or explicitly. The most common example is when your boss asks you to engage in some form of sexual conduct with him or her to keep your job. Another example may include a hiring manager conditioning a job offer on unwelcome sexual conduct. This is illegal. Quid Pro Quo Harassment also may occur when your boss makes decisions about the terms and conditions of your job based on your submission to verbal, nonverbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.
- Hostile Work Environment: It is illegal for employers to create a workplace that includes unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature unreasonably interferes with your work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment. This is far more common claim of sexual harassment in today's workplace.
What are Some Examples of Illegal Sexual Harassment?
A sexual harassment claim is often fact sensitive. Below are some examples of what may constitute the basis, in part or in full, for a sexual harassment claim:
- Actual or attempted rape or sexual assault (This may include conduct that occurred at a work-related event).
- Unwanted pressure for sexual favors or dates.
- Unwanted texts, phone calls or emails of a sexual nature.
- Unwanted leering, sexual looks or gestures.
- Unwanted sexual teasing, jokes, remarks, or questions.
- Referring to you as a girl, doll, babe, or honey.
- Sexual innuendos or stories.
- Asking about sexual fantasies, preferences, or history.
- Personal questions about social or sexual life.
- Sexual comments about a person's clothing, anatomy, or looks.
- Touching an employee's clothing, hair, or body.
Should I Complain or File a Lawsuit?
Before taking any action, it is important to understand that the law prohibits unwelcome conduct. If you willingly engage in sexually harassing conduct at work (e.g., you participate in conversations with sexual innuendo), you may not be able to successfully prove all of the required elements of a claim. Employees who complain in good faith about sexual harassment are protected from retaliation. That being said, the complaint and investigative process can be a very daunting process. It may be beneficial to seek the advice of an employment lawyer before you lodge an internal complaint.
Depending on your facts including but not limited to the size and location of your employer, you may able to file a lawsuit immediately or file a complaint with an administrative agency. Generally, this should not be a first step. You should consult with an experienced employment lawyer to understand if you have a claim and your options. Call our office at (800) 893-9645 to speak with a sexual harassment attorney.