No one should be subjected to harassment in the workplace, and no one should feel violated by an employer or co-worker as a result of Sexual Harassment. If such action occurs, it is illegal. There are laws designed to protect everyone from such conduct.
Sexual harassment in the workplace is a form of discrimination which is all too common, and despite the progress which has been made in terms of awareness, it remains a serious problem. Sexual harassment is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
What is sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment occurs in the workplace in a variety of ways. It occurs often when an employer or co-worker creates an atmosphere of harassment, through inappropriate conduct such as making unwelcome comments or gestures of a sexual nature, by engaging in unwelcome touching, by making sexual references in emails or other communications, by the posting of inappropriate pictures or other depictions of a sexual nature, or by making repeated requests for social interaction such as dates outside the office.
Sexual Harassment also can occur in the forms of a quid pro quo, wherein an employee is told, or is led to believe, that any form of hiring, advancement, promotion, continued employment or increase in responsibilities will be in some measure based on their providing sexual favors of any nature.
What laws are aimed at preventing Sexual Harassment?
Sexual Harassment is illegal and can give rise to legal action whether the conduct is committed by a supervisor or even by a co-worker. Moreover, it is illegal regardless of whether the person committing the harassment is of the same sex or the opposite sex.
Conduct which creates a hostile work environment is illegal both under Federal and State law. In fact, in many states and cities, the local laws will give even greater protection than the Federal law. For example, in New York, sexual harassment is also illegal under the New York State Human Rights Law, and the New York City Human Rights Law, and in both cases those laws apply to more employers than the Federal Law.
Should you speak with an attorney?
If you or someone you know has been subjected to Sexual Harassment in the workplace, you should immediately contact a lawyer who can explore all of your options and potentially bring a legal action which would allow you to receive the benefits and protection to which everyone is entitled. Please contact our office today at 212-828-2770 for a free consultation.