New York City sexual harassment attorneys at Leeds Brown believe that places of employment should be free of discrimination, bullying, and harassment. Employees in New York City, Long Island and nationwide should never have to endure taunting or intimidation at their places of work.
Despite the many laws that prohibit such behavior, we have seen a growing number of lawsuits that involve all types of discrimination and harassment in the workplace. If you have experienced sexual harassment or discrimination based on your gender, religion or race, Leeds Brown may be able to help you file a claim against your employer.
Sexual harassment occurs when an employee is the victim of verbal or physical abuse of a sexual nature. The harassment can include acts like inappropriate joke telling or unwanted hugging. A sexual harassment victim may be a man or woman. The same is true for the perpetrator of the harassment.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidelines define sexual harassment as follows: “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.”
Workplace sexual harassment generally falls into two main categories: “hostile work environment” sexual harassment and “quid pro quo” sexual harassment. Both types are prohibited by federal and state legislation. Both types may cause innocent employees to experience emotional, economic, and sometimes physical injuries.
“Quid pro quo” is a Latin saying that means “something for something.” It means there is an exchange of some kind, presumably things or acts of equal value. In the context of New York City employment law, it takes on a greater meaning.
Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when a supervisor tells or suggests to an employee that he or she will make an employment decision based on the employee’s satisfaction of a sexual demand. An employment decision might involve a raise, promotion, new assignment or positive review. Alternatively, the supervisor may threaten to do something negative such as fire, demote or give a negative review, in retaliation for refusing to submit to a sexual demand.
Unlike hostile work environment harassment, quid pro quo sexual harassment can consist of one single sexual demand. Also unlike hostile work environment, the perpetrator must be in a role of greater authority or power than the victim, for example, a manager or supervisor.
Proving quid pro quo sexual harassment may be easier than hostile environment sexual harassment because your entire claim may be based on a single act by the supervisor. You must show; 1) that the supervisor or other person of authority made an unwelcome advance or otherwise harassed you and 2) that some aspect of your job was conditioned on your response. Again, quid pro quo harassment can incorporate a threat of something negative or promise of something positive.
Some common examples that might demonstrate quid pro quo sexual harassment are:
To prove quid pro quo harassment (sexual or otherwise) you will need to show that you are a member of a protected class (i.e. gender, race, religion), that there was an unwelcome sexual advance, that the advance was made by a supervisor, and that the harassment negatively affected your employment. If you can prove these elements, your employer will have to provide evidence to the contrary. For example, your boss might try to show that the negative employment decision was based on poor performance.
Because supervisors and people in authority are perpetrators of quid pro quo harassment, the employer is often found liable for their actions. In other words, if your manager harasses you, you may have a claim against not only that manager but the company as well. An employer is often held responsible for the actions of its supervisors and managers.
New York sex harassment lawyers are available for consultation if you think you have been the victim of sexual harassment or sex discrimination. The respected New York City law firm of Leeds Brown has decades of experience assisting workers to file claims and lawsuits against unscrupulous employers. Our hard working dedicated team of attorneys can help determine if you have a viable claim and compassionately guide you through the process of trying to collect damages for your economic and emotional injuries. We have a proven track record of achieving excellent results for our clients.
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