sexual harassment what can I do

Hi I was working for this company for about 9 months this other female kept harassing me and called me names on servale actions I told the boss who is also the owner he did nothing, it happened again and I t6old him again to please talk to her and he did nothing.
And finally she left for another job and this other girl was only two days a week it was just me and him there he would tell if he was not married he would want to have sex with me, and I probably look good naked and on several different occasions he would call into his office and have naked pictures of girls loaded up on his computer and wanted me to sit there and look at them. He would tell me how he had a stocking fetish and how he would like to tie me up and whip me. Is there any thing I could do? He only employs four people. Can I do anything about both the harassment with the other female plus the sexual harassment with him??

1 answer  |  asked May 20, 2004 6:41 PM [EST]  |  applies to New York

Answers (1)

David M. Lira
Small Employers and Same Sex Harassment

In New York State, sexual harassment is prohibited by the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, commonly referred to as "Title VII," and the New York State Human Rights Law. If you work in New York City, it would also be prohibited by the New York City Human Rights Law. Title VII applies only to employers with 15 or more employees. The NYS HRL applies only to employers with four or more employees.

If an employer has fewer than four employees, you might be able to pursue a claim against the individual harasser and maybe the employer under a common law tort theory. However, pursuing this type of theory is harder to do. The reason for the anti-sexual harassment laws was in part to make it easier for people to pursue claims, especially against employers. But common law tort is at least an option.

Now, understand that harassment is not illegal. It becomes illegal only if the harassment is motivated by the victim's sex, or race, religion, national origin, age or disability. It might be illegal if the harassment is motivated by the fact that the victim asserted certain other rights, or was helping other people assert certain other rights. (In this case, what we would likely have is retaliatory harassment.) Thus, you have a viable harassment claim only if the harassment is motivated by certain reasons.

I bring this up because you do not say why this other woman harassed you. If she harassed you because she took a personal dislike to you, you may not have anything. But if the harassment was motivated by something like your race, then you might have something.

The way you wrote about your situation caused me to think that you believed this other woman harassed you because you are a woman. If that is the case, you would have a case of same sex harassment. You can successfully sue for same sex harassment, but you will need to prove that the harassment was motivated by the fact that you are a woman.

posted by David M. Lira  |  May 21, 2004 10:06 AM [EST]

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