From subtle remarks to physical assault, sexual harassment in New York City workplaces comes in many forms. Each type of harassment can be just as traumatic as the next. Victims often suffer emotional distress, poor work performance, and long-lasting psychological, financial, and social repercussions.
Employees should never have to suffer because of someone else’s crass behavior and inappropriate conduct in the workplace. You should never lose your job or not get a job because you denied a supervisor’s request for sexual favors. When you’ve endured sexual harassment at your New York City job site, you need a hard-hitting, yet compassionate New York City sexual harassment attorney to help you obtain justice – and get you the compensation you need and deserve.
At the Arcè Law Group, our team of premier New York City sexual harassment lawyers fight for hard working employees just like you across the five boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. Our sexual harassment lawyers handle these delicate situations with respect, ensuring your dignity remains intact during the entire legal process. Our New York City sexual harassment lawyers fights for every penny you deserve, while guiding you every step of the way.What is Sexual Harassment or Gender-Based Discrimination in New York City?
The definition of workplace sexual harassment according to New York City and NY State law may seem simple:
- Unwelcome sexual advances; and/or
- Unwanted requests for sex; and/or
- Verbal, pictorial, or physical harassment of a sexual nature; and/or
- Offensive comments about a person’s sex/gender
Unfortunately, New York City sexual harassment cases are not always that straightforward. There are many nuances and aspects of New York law in which many New York workers do not know about. Seeking a qualified sexual harassment attorney’s guidance is essential to review the details of your specific sexual harassment claim and to be sure you have a case.
Here’s a crash course in what you need to know about New York City workplace sexual harassment:
Two types of sexual harassment are recognized under the law Various laws classify sexual harassment in two forms:
- Quid pro quo. Meaning, “something for something,” this occurs when a condition of your employment is dependent on the acceptance or rejection of sexual advances. For example, your boss demanded you have sex with him or you will be fired. Or your office supervisor offered you a raise in exchanged for sexual favors. This is also known as “direct sexual harassment” in New York.
- Hostile work environment. This type of sex harassment is more common. A hostile work environment occurs when your work colleagues harass you to the point where it interferes with your work performance, creating an intimidating or threatening workplace. You might refer to hostile work environment as “indirect sexual harassment.”
The New York City sexual harassment attorneys at the Arcè Law Group are well-versed in New York City, State, and federal law. A NYC sexual harassment attorney can give you a better idea of which category your case falls under.
Anyone can be sexually harassed
Whether you are a man, woman, or transgender anti-sexual harassment laws protect your rights as a New York City employee. Under the law, a man can harass a man, a woman can harass a man, a woman could sexually harass a woman, or a man can harass a woman. Sexually harassing a person because of his or her gender identity or status is also illegal in New York City.
Furthermore, workplace sexual harassment doesn’t just occur between a supervisor and a subordinate. You might have cause for a lawsuit or EEOC claim if you’ve endured inappropriate behavior from a:
- Independent contractor
- Customer or client
If you’re still confused about what constitutes sexual harassment under New York law, you’re not alone. The laws protecting your rights as an employee are broad, complex, and expansive. To help demonstrate what exactly sexual harassment looks like in New York City workplaces, here are some examples:
- Giving inappropriate gifts of a sexual nature
- Making demeaning comments about women
- Asking a person about his or her sexual history and preferences
- Repeatedly requesting dates from a person, despite his or her rejection
- Telling you that to get this job, you must sleep with the hiring manager
- Inviting you to a hotel room after a work function
- Showing you pornographic images in the workplace
- Sending you inappropriate text messages and emails
- Making suggestive comments about your figure
- Telling explicit jokes of a sexual nature
- Refusing to hire women or men for a specific job
The list goes on. To clarify, New York City sexual harassment DOES NOT include consensual relationships or asking someone on a date or to meet for drinks. However, if a consensual office romance goes sour, and one party begins harassing the other, or giving unfavorable reviews, or even firing the other person, that could constitute sexual harassment under New York law.
New York City sexual harassment isn’t just limited to sexual comments and behaviors. It includes gender discrimination and workplace sexism. You may have been harassed and just not know it. If behaviors make you uncomfortable, leave you feeling embarrassed or ashamed, intimidate you, threaten you, or have any other negative consequences, consult with a New York City sexual harassment lawyer to learn more about your employee rights. You don’t have to put up with it anymore. You don’t have to endure sexual harassment just for the sake of keeping your job or “fitting in.”Laws Protecting you From New York City Sexual Harassment
Our New York City sexual harassment lawyers see clients from all walks of life walk through our doors. No matter your occupation, various laws protect your employment rights. In fact, New York City has some of the broadest and most liberal employee rights laws in the entire nation, making it easier for victims of sexual harassment to secure the compensation they deserve after they’ve experienced an ordeal.
Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act
A federal law, Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects workers across the nation. Our New York City sexual harassment attorneys bring cases to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and then federal court, if necessary, when an employer has violated this federal law.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act:
- Applies to employers with 15 or more employees
- Requires you to file a charge with the EEOC first. If the case cannot be resolved by the EEOC, which is an administrative body, you can then bring your claim to federal court.
- Does not cover offhand comments and “simple teasing.” The behavior must be severe in nature.
- Allows you to recover compensation for lost wages, lost out-of-pocket expenses, attorneys’ fees, legal costs, and compensation for emotional distress. However, there are established limits on how much money you can collect based on the size of the employer.
Your New York City sexual harassment lawyer can let you know if you should bring your case under Title VII.
New York State Human Rights Law
Sexual harassment is considered a form of sex discrimination per the New York State Human Rights Law (NY HLR). The NY HLR defines sexual harassment the same way as Title VII – it includes unwelcome sexual advances and requests for sex, as well as verbal or physical harassment based on sex. Unlike Title VII, however, it applies to employers with four or more employees. So, if you were employed at a smaller organization, you may be able to bring a harassment charge under this law.
Under the NY HLR, the conduct must be “severe” or “pervasive” in nature. So, like Title VII, an isolated incident is unlikely to be considered New York sexual harassment unless the act was completely egregious, such as a sexual assault.
If your sexual harassment attorney chooses to file a claim under this law, you might file it with the New York City Division of Human Rights, or in New York State Superior Court.
New York City Human Rights Law
Title 8 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York is known as The New York City Human Rights Law (NYC HLR). The NYC HLR 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 NYCHRL applies to employers throughout the city of New York with at least four employees, including the city government, but not the state and federal governments. Unlike Title VII, individual business owners and supervisors may be held liable under the NYC HRL.
According the NYC HLR, harassment DOES NOT need to be “severe” or “pervasive.” Instead, you simply need to show the conduct was unwelcome. This allows more employees to seek justice when their employers have wronged them. The knowledgeable sexual harassment attorneys at the Arcè Law Group can give you more information about this helpful law and 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 or harassment of any kind. However, legislation make it illegal to take negative employment actions against an employee for:
- Reporting sexual harassment to Human Resources
- Reporting harassment to your supervisor
- Bringing a lawsuit against the company
- Participating in a legal case against the company
You cannot be fired, demoted, refused a promotion, harassed, or otherwise treated poorly. A sexual harassment lawyer at the Arcè Law Group can give you more details regarding New York and federal retaliation laws.Sexual Harassment Lawsuit in New York City: Next Steps
If you suspect you are the victim of sexual harassment in your New York City workplace, your next step is to seek experienced counsel from an attorney at the Arcè Law Group. When you meet your NY sexual harassment lawyer for a free initial consultation, bring as much evidence as possible. For example:
- Evidence of your employment
- Emails between you and your harasser
- Text messages and social media contact between you and your harasser
- Human Resources records, if you are able to access them
- Evidence of your pay and/or lost wages
- Contact information for potential witnesses
- Evidence of any psychological counseling you may have received as the result of your harassment
- Any other proof you suffered damages from sexual harassment
Be prepared to be candid and honest about what happened. The details may be traumatic and humiliating. But, at the Arcè Law Group, we’ve handle countless cases of New York City sexual harassment. We understand this is difficult to talk about. However, you need to give our sexual harassment lawyers as much detail as possible so we can effectively pursue your case.
After your first meeting with your lawyer, he or she advises you on how to proceed with your harassment claim.Can I Get Money for my NYC Sexual Harassment Case?
No one can tell you if your sexual harassment legal case will be successful or give you an exact dollar amount you might win. However, at the Arcè Law Group, our attorneys, in most cases, work on a 100% contingency fee basis – this means your NYC attorney does not get paid unless he or she successfully recovers money on your behalf. In other words, we don’t take on cases unless we think we can win.
If successful, and depending on where you file a claim and which laws we employ, you may be entitled to compensation for:
- Lost past and present wages
- Lost future wages, such as money you might have earned if not for the harassment
- Lost benefits
- Expenses regarding a job search and other out-of-pocket-costs
- Emotional distress
- Costs associated with seeking psychological treatment
- Attorneys’ fees
- Legal costs, such as court fees
- Punitive damages, which is additional compensation intended to punish and deter your harasser
You should know that these types of cases rarely ever see a courtroom. We aim to settle claims through mediation, arbitration, or negotiations. Alternative dispute resolution takes far less time to resolve than litigation. So, if you are concerned about a lengthy legal battle, please keep this in mind.
To learn more, schedule a no-cost, no obligation consultation with a skilled New York City sexual harassment attorney at the Arcè Law Group. We’ll give you all the details you need to know regarding compensation for your EEOC claim or NYC sexual harassment case.Contact an NYC Sexual Harassment Lawyer Today to Arrange a Free Initial Consultation
The Arcè Law Group employs a team of dedicated, compassionate sexual harassment lawyers who fight for the rights of sexual harassment victims across the five boroughs. From our convenient office location in the Financial District of Manhattan we represent clients in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island. Please contact us today at 212.248.0120 or fill out an online contact form. Do not hesitate. There are time limits for filing your sexual harassment claim. Call today to learn more.