Sexual Harassment Lawyer NYC

Sexual Harassment Lawyer NYC

Sexual harassment in the workplace refers to unwelcome sexual contact, advances, or communication between an owner, manager, supervisor, coworker, client, or onsite contractor and an employee or member of an organization. 

It’s highly unethical, and more importantly, it’s illegal at the state and federal levels. Unfortunately, instances of this unwanted behavior are all still all too common, and that’s why we’re here when you need an experienced sexual harassment lawyer in NYC.

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Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Sexual harassment cases fall into two broad categories: 

  • Quid Pro Quo –  The Latin phrase meaning “this for that,” quid pro quo occurs when one employee, often in a supervisory position, states or implies that another employee’s refusal of sexual advances will result in negative job-related consequences, such as being denied a bonus or promotion. 

  • Hostile Work Environment – In these cases, a pattern of sexually offensive, derogatory, or discriminatory remarks or actions permeates the workplace, creating an environment that is detrimental to an employee’s sense of well-being or safety. 

Whether you are a man, woman, gay, or straight, sexual harassment and/or sexism in the workplace is always illegal. However, with the right New York sexual harassment attorney and proper knowledge of New York State and New York City sexual harassment laws, you can fight back.

At Moshes Law, we take sexual harassment cases seriously. In these sensitive matters, you need a compassionate attorney who is ready to stand up for your rights and interests. That’s what we do for each client.

Before You Call – How to Prove Sexual Harassment 

If you have been subject to sexual harassment in your workplace, collect and preserve any evidence that supports your claim right away. To establish the strength of your case, you’ll need to take several steps. Once you do, we can begin to take action on your behalf. Here’s what we generally recommend when clients ask us how to prove sexual harassment

  1. Collect any sexually harassing statements made to you. If the statement comes in written form, such as in a letter or an email, keep it. If the evidence is based on an oral statement, do your best to remember it word-for-word and write it down as soon as you can. The best practice is to type the statement electronically in some form that has a time stamp, such as a text message, so your sexual harassment attorney can prove the time and place in court.

  2. Photograph any inappropriate images, displays, or cartoons that indicate possible sexual harassment.

  3. Research your employer’s complaint procedure and complain about the sexual harassment pursuant to that procedure. You have to give your employer a chance to fix the situation and put an end to the harassment. Make sure you follow your employer’s complaint procedure, if there is one, and report the sexual harassment to the correct person. It is always best to put your complaint in writing. If you’ve only complained verbally, make sure you follow up in writing, confirming the fact that you complained, and reiterate the subject of that verbal complaint. Furthermore, provide the person to whom you’re complaining with copies of all the evidence you’ve accumulated. Remember, the employer doesn’t have to fire the person sexually harassing you or inform you of the results of any investigation. They only have to make the sexual harassment stop.

  4. Contact other witnesses and take statements.

  5. Keep records of all mental health treatment that you received as a result of the sexual harassment.

  6. Make sure to preserve any evidence you have. Keep multiple hard copies in different places in case you lose one. Also, keep an electronic copy safe in a backed-up file.

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Examples of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Remember: Sexual harassment and sexism in the workplace do not always follow expected patterns. Men can easily be the victim of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment can also occur between members of the same sex. 

Sexual harassment can even take place without any economic injury to the victim, and not all cases are between individuals in supervisory and subordinate roles. While sexual harassment comes in many forms, here are some common examples. 

  • Requests for sexual favors;
  • Inappropriate physical contact, including touching, kissing, hugging, standing too close, or intentionally brushing up against a person;
  • Sexually explicit or suggestive comments, jokes, teasing, or innuendo;
  • Commentary or questions about the victim’s sex life, body, or clothing;
  • Displaying, posting, or circulating in the workplace emails, pictures, cartoons, or other written or graphic material of a sexually explicit, demeaning, or obscene nature;
  • Verbal abuse or derogatory comments of a sexual or gender-specific nature;
  • Staring, leering, whistling, or obscene gestures.

Remember: Sexual harassment and sexism in the workplace does not always follow expected patterns. Men can easily be the victim of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment can also occur between members of the same sex. Sexual harassment can even take place without any economic injury to the victim.

It is a common mistake to believe that sexual harassment can only be perpetrated by a supervisor or boss.

You might have a valid claim for sexual harassment if you’ve endured inappropriate behavior of a sexual nature from a:

  • Boss
  • Co-worker
  • Executive
  • Subordinate
  • Independent contractor
  • Contractor
  • Customer or client

If you are unsure whether you have a valid claim for sexual harassment, it is best to contact a NYC sexual harassment attorney.

Who Can Report Sexual Harassment?

Anyone can report sexual harassment in the workplace. You do not have to be the victim to report either Quid Pro Quo or Hostile Work Environment sexual harassment. Anyone who witnesses such behavior can complain to a supervisor or Human Resources representative. Our sexual harassment lawyers can help you determine to whom at your company you should file a complaint of sexual harassment. Protect your job, your salary, and your way of life by taking action against sexual harassment in the workplace.

Sexual Harassment Statutes

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the federal law prohibiting gender discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act:

  • Applies to employers with 15 or more employees;
  • Requires you to file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC within 300 days of the most recent sexually harassing act.
  • Does not cover offhand comments and “simple teasing.” The behavior must be “severe or pervasive” in nature.
  • Allows you to recover compensation for lost wages, lost out-of-pocket expenses, attorneys’ fees, legal costs, compensation for emotional distress, and punitive damages. However, there are established limits on how much money you can collect based on the size of the employer.

The New York State Human Rights Law is the New York State law that outlaws sexual harassment in the workplace.

The NYS Human Rights Law defines sexual harassment the same way as Title VII does – it includes unwelcome sexual advances and requests for sex, as well as verbal or physical harassment based on sex. Under the NYS Human Rights Law, the conduct must also be “severe or pervasive” in nature. So, similar to Title VII, an isolated incident of sexual harassment is unlikely to be actionable unless the act was completely egregious, such as a sexual assault.

However, unlike Title VII, in the context of sexual harassment claims, the NYS Human Rights Law covers all employers regardless of size. Thus, even in small companies employing fewer than fifteen (15) employees, employees can still bring claims of sexual harassment against their employer.

The New York City Human Rights Law is New York City’s anti-discrimination law and is one of the broadest anti-discrimination and anti-harassment laws in the country.

The aim is to create zero-tolerance policy on discriminatory behaviors in NYC workplaces. The NYC Human Rights Law also covers all employees’ sexual harassment claims regardless of the size of the employer. However, unlike Title VII and the NYS Human Rights Law, individual business owners and supervisors may also be held individually liable under the law.

Also unlike Title VII and the NYS Human Rights Law, the sexual harassment DOES NOT need to be “severe or pervasive.” Instead, you simply need to show the conduct rose above what a reasonable person would consider “petty slights and trivial inconveniences.” You are only required to show that you were treated less well than other employees because of your gender. A knowledgeable New York City sexual harassment attorney can give you more information about your specific legal rights as a New York City employee.

Sexual Harassment and Retaliation in New York City

If you still work for the offending employer, you might be concerned about losing your job if you report sexual harassment. However, legislation makes it illegal to take adverse employment actions

  • Reporting sexual harassment to Human Resources
  • Reporting sexual harassment to a supervisor
  • Bringing a lawsuit for sexual harassment against an employer
  • Participating in a legal action or proceeding against an employer

You cannot be fired, demoted, denied a promotion, harassed, or otherwise treated poorly in retaliation for engaging in any of the above protected activities. A sexual harassment lawyer at Law Office of Yuriy Moshes, P.C. can provide you with more details regarding all of your rights under the law.

Can I Sue My Employer for Sexual Harassment?

We will advise you on the available courses of action you can take. You may be eligible for compensation for:

  • Lost past, present, and future wages;
  • Lost benefits;
  • Emotional distress;
  • Attorney’s fees;
  • Legal costs, such as court fees;
  • Punitive damages, or additional compensation intended to punish and deter your harassers.

Protecting Your Rights in the Workplace

At the Law Office of Yuriy Moshes, P.C., we know that no one should have to tolerate unwelcome sexual advances and/or sexual harassment in the workplace. We also understand the difficulties involved in pursuing a sexual harassment claim.

How to Prove Sexual Harassment

Discrimination of any kind has no place in any work environment, and our team works diligently to defend victims of discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, race, national origin, religion, and other considerations. 

Request a free consultation from one of our NYC sexual harassment lawyers today. We are ready to help victims of workplace harassment in the greater New York City area as well as Northern New Jersey, Long Island, and Upstate New York.

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