October 1, 2023

Can I Sue My Employer for Sexual Harassment?

Wondering if you can sue your employer for sexual harassment? Sexual harassment in the workplace can have a significant negative impact on an individual. If you've been sexually harassed in the workplace, you might be able to sue. An experienced lawyer can help you understand your rights and file a sexual harassment case.

What Is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment is illegal in New York. The Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act of 20218 was enacted to address and prevent sexual harassment at work.

Sexual harassment comprises any form of misconduct in the workplace that involves requests for favors of a sexual nature, unwelcome or offensive sexual advances, or other verbal or physical behavior of a sexual nature that creates an intimidating environment.

Grounds for Harassment Lawsuits in New York

Workplace harassment lawsuits in New York typically involve an employee alleging that they have been subjected to a pattern of harassing or intimidating behavior by another person. This could be a co-worker, employer, supervisor, or manager.

Sexual harassment is not limited to physical behavior; it could be anything sexually offensive that creates an uncomfortable work environment. Examples of behaviors that are considered sexual harassment at work include:

  • Quid Pro Quo (Requests for sexual favors).
  • Verbal harassment, including derogatory remarks, suggestive comments, jokes, or comments that create a hostile environment based on sex or gender.
  • Non-verbal harassment includes unwelcome staring, touching, or making sexually suggestive gestures.
  • Hostile environment harassment includes unwelcome sexual comments, gestures, images, or actions that create an offensive or intimidating environment.

What Is The Difference Between Sexual Harassment And Sexual Assault?

Sexual harassment and sexual assault are related concepts that involve offensive or unwanted sexual behavior. However, these concepts have distinct differences. Generally, sexual assault involves non-consensual sexual activity that is more physical and intrusive. It includes unwanted touching, fondling, rape, or attempted rape.

Sexual harassment, on the other hand, is not limited to physical behavior. It also includes verbal, non-verbal, or cyber-related elements that create a toxic work environment. Both sexual harassment and sexual assault are serious crimes in New York that can warrant a lawsuit.

How To Identify Sexual Harassment In The Workplace

Identifying sexual harassment in the workplace can be challenging because it can involve subtle behaviors. However, understanding what constitutes sexual harassment is vital for advocating for yourself if you believe you are being harassed. 

If someone makes unwanted sexual advances or comments, displays explicit material, or makes unwanted physical contact, you should notify your human resource department or employer. If you need help identifying and dealing with sexual harassment at the workplace, you may want to consider the service of an attorney.

Contact our New York Employment Attorneys

At Mizrahi Kroub LLP, our lawyers are committed to helping victims of sexual harassment in New York seek justice. We use a personalized approach to ensure your interests are addressed during the claims process.

Ready to get started? Call us at (212) 595-6200 to schedule a free consultation with our attorneys and get the help you need.

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