sexual harrassment

I recently worked in a small diner as a waitress. my boss the owner was constantly making sexual comments like your having a good ass day today or even so far as to call a local radio stationand they would say there was a table dancing waitress working there and people should go see the show .I was the only waitress that worked there.this is sexual harrassment right?How long can I wait to file a complaint?I Have not worked there in a month. aAlso would I be able to collect unemployment?I quit because of that and a family member being really sick . the stress and humiliation was too much.

1 answer  |  asked Mar 8, 2004 08:19 AM [EST]  |  applies to New York

Answers (1)

David M. Lira
Deadline for filing sexual harassment complaints

The unemployment compensation is something I cannot answer.

On the sexual harassment claim:

In New York State, you can file a claim of sexual harassment in any one of four places: 1) the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; 2) the New York State Division of Human Rights; 3) a local commission on Human Rights,including the New York City Human Rights Commission; and 4) a court with jurisdiction. The EEOC is really a gatekeeper. You get to federal court through the EEOC.

When you have to file depends on what has happened, and on where you file.

Harassment claims keep on going. Every day you experience a continuation of the sexual harassment lengthens the deadline for filing a complaint. But you have to be careful of breaks in the harassment. FOr example, if the harassed is away from the office for a significant period, there may be a break in the harassment. To get the conduct before the break covered, you need to file by a deadline measured from the start of the break. The harassment may start again when the harasser returns, but behavior after the break for certain purposes will be treated separately from behavior before the break.

If an employee leaves or gets fired, the statute of limitations begins to run from the date the employee leaves or gets fired.

If you file with the EEOC, you must file within 300 days of the last incident. But there is a quirk in the law that can sometimes burn an employee. SO, I believe complaints should generally be filed within 240 days of the last incident to be safe. If you file with the Division or a local commission, you have one year to file. If you file directly in court without going to an agency, you have up to 3 years to file.

But note, where you file can affect your rights. If you file directly in court, or with the Division or local commission, you could lose your rights under federal law. If you don't handle your filing with the EEOC right, you could lose your rights under New York State law. There is a way to protect both your federal and state rights, but you have to do it in the right way, and at the right time.

TO protect all of your rights, you really need to retain an attorney knowledgeable in this area of law.

posted by David M. Lira  |  Mar 8, 2004 5:12 PM [EST]

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