Sexual Harassment Protections in New York

posted by Charles Joseph  |  Apr 18, 2019 1:07 PM [EST]  |  applies to New York

Everyone deserves a workplace free from sexual harassment. What types of sexual harassment violate the law? What protections do you have under New York sexual harassment laws? And what should you do if you experience sexual harassment in the workplace? 

New York has some of the strongest sexual harassment laws in the country. These laws protect employees from unwelcome sexual advances, offensive sexual comments, and pressure to engage in a sexual relationship. Both men and women can experience workplace sexual harassment, and both men and women can harass people at work. 

Types of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Three types of sexual harassment violate the law. The first is quid pro quo sexual harassment, or "this for that." For example, a supervisor asking for sexual favors or a date in exchange for a promotion violates sexual harassment laws. Similarly, hiring managers cannot demand sexual favors to hire a candidate. Only bosses and supervisors can commit this type of sexual harassment.

Unwanted physical contact also violates sexual harassment laws. Coworkers, supervisors, or even subordinants can commit this type of sexual harassment. Unwanted contact includes someone touching or brushing up against you, or touching themselves sexually in front of employees.

Finally, unwelcome comments or behaviors can also violate sexual harassment laws. Offensive remarks, slurs, derogatory sexual comments, and other verbal conduct of a sexual nature can create a hostile work environment. Sexually explicit images in the workplace can also violate employees' rights.

How to Prove Your Sexual Harassment Case

If you experience sexual harassment at work, taking a few steps immediately can strengthen your case. 

  • Make notes about the sexual harassment. Write down the time and place of each incident, who was present, and what was said or done. 

  • Check your employee handbook, if your company has one. Follow the guidelines on sexual harassment.

  • If you file complaints with your supervisor or human resources, make sure to put them in writing.

  • Keep a sexual harassment log with notes about the harassment, copies of any complaints, and other information. Keep a copy at home.

If you decide to file a sexual harassment lawsuit, taking these steps will make your case stronger.

When to Contact a Sexual Harassment Lawyer

You may want to contact a sexual harassment lawyer to discuss your options. Many offer free, confidential consultations. A sexual harassment lawyer can help build the strongest case and protect your rights. Lawyers can also help you recover back pay, emotional distress damages, and punitive damages.

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posted by Charles Joseph  |  Apr 18, 2019 1:07 PM [EST]  |  applies to New York

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