Sexual harassment can take various forms, from subtle remarks to jokes and physical assault, all of which are prohibited by both New York and Federal laws. Victims of sexual harassment experience tremendous psychological trauma, which can lead to stress and depression. For this reason, these acts should never be allowed to happen in the workplace to ensure a conducive working environment.
Victims of workplace sexual harassment can file a claim or lawsuit to seek justice. However, they must understand the intricacies of sexual harassment laws to prove their case in court. It’s advisable to hire the services of a New York sexual harassment attorney to help you understand your rights and get justice.
What is Considered Sexual Harassment in the Workplace?
Workplace sexual harassment includes any abuse or hostility directed at specific individuals based on their gender or sexual orientation. Regardless of who the victim or the aggressor is, the consequences are always the same; destruction of worker productivity and morale and psychological pain. Some behaviors that fall under workplace sexual harassment include:
- Verbal Sexual Harassment: Various forms of verbal communication can be regarded as sexual harassment, especially if they relate to an employee’s dress code, makeup, or hair. Also, referring to employees using pet names can be considered sexually offensive. Other forms of verbal sexual harassment can include catcalls, repeated and unwanted sexual requests or advances, sexual innuendos, and whistling.
- Digital Sexual Harassment: Digital communication has become integral to the corporate sector globally. Stakeholders in many companies communicate using emails and other digital forms of communication. Through this technology, some employees tend to sexually abuse their colleagues by sending them unwanted sexual emails, texts, videos, and photos and making unwanted sexual or romantic requests.
- Non-verbal Workplace Sexual Harassment: Sometimes sexual harassment in the workplace can happen non-verbally through such acts as stalking a worker, staring at someone, facial expressions like kiss blowing or winking, obstructing someone’s path, or spying on someone, especially while using the bathroom or changing.
- Sexual Assault: If not swiftly dealt with, sexual harassment can easily turn physical (sexual assault). This is where the aggressor uses force for a sexual end, and at this point, the offense becomes criminal. Common forms of physical sexual harassment include sexual battery, unwanted sexual touching, fondling, or rape.
Types of Sexual Harassment at Work
- Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment: This is where the aggressor demands sexual favors in exchange for job protection or benefits.
- Hostile Work Environment: This is where an employee is sexually harassed by their colleague, creating an intimidating or hostile workplace atmosphere.
How to Prove Workplace Sexual Harassment
If you have filed a workplace sexual harassment claim, you need to follow these steps to safeguard your claim:
- Note all details about the harassment incidents you’ve been facing, including when, how, where, and who.
- Follow the process stipulated by your organization’s sexual harassment prevention policy.
- Let your aggressor understand your lack of consent and record that communication.
- Notify your supervisor about the harassment incidents, both verbally and in writing.
- Hire an experienced sexual harassment lawyer to help you file a legal claim and end the harassment.
Get in Touch with Our New York Employment Lawyers
If you have experienced sexual harassment at work and want to file a claim in New York, Mizrahi Kroub LLP can help you. Call us at (212) 595-6200 or contact us online to speak with one of our attorneys and discover how we can help.
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