Long Island and NYC Sexual Harassment Lawyer
We truly stand at a crossroads in our proud country’s history. Never before have so many victims come forward to finally take a stand against the intolerable culture of sexual harassment that has permeated the corporate fiber of our nation. We at the Van De Water Law Firm proudly stand with you and will guide you through the difficult emotional process of enforcing your rights while beginning the healing process you deserve.
What Is sexual harassment and are you a victim of It?
The EEOC describes sexual harassment as harassing an employee or applicant because of the person’s sex. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical harassment that is sexual in nature qualify as sexual harassment. Offensive remarks made about women or men in general or about sexual orientation are also forms of sexual harassment.
The first step in dealing with sexual harassment is recognizing it. The next step is determining whether you are a victim of it.
At the Van De Water Law Firm, P.C. we understand it may not be easy to come forward. The emotional trauma resulting from sexual harassment can be overwhelming. However, having an advocate to speak up for you and protect your rights can make a tremendous difference. We can help you file a claim and guide you through the legal process.
What is not considered sexual harassment?
The law does not consider simple infrequent teasing or offhand comments or even an isolated incident that is not very serious to be sexual harassment. However, when this behavior happens frequently or is severe enough to result in a work environment that feels hostile or offensive, the courts view it as sexual harassment. If the frequency or severity is enough to result in adverse work decisions such as firing or demotion, it is also qualifies as sexual harassment.
Who can take on the role of harassers in a work environment?
Harassers can be the employee’s direct supervisor, a supervisor over a different area, a co-worker or even individuals who do not work for the company, such as clients or customers.
What are some examples of different types of sexual harassment?
According to the EEOC, sexual harassment is unlawful not just for the person being harassed but also for anyone affected by the offensive behavior. In addition, the behavior is unlawful even if economic damage or discharge of the harassed victim did not occur.
Specific examples of sexual harassment include:
- Sharing sexually inappropriate images or videos such as pornography or obscene pictures or cartoons
- Sending sexually suggestive texts, notes, emails or letters
- Displaying sexually inappropriate posters at work
- Sharing sexual anecdotes or telling lewd jokes
- Making inappropriate sexual gestures
- Staring or whistling in a sexually offensive or suggestive manner
- Inappropriate touching, such as pinching, patting, putting a hand on, rubbing or purposefully brushing up against another person
- Asking sexual questions or inquiries about a person’s sexual past or sexual orientation
- Making sexual remarks about a person’s clothes, body parts or appearance
- Making offensive remarks about sexual orientation or gender identity
What is the difference between qui pro quo sexual harassment and a hostile work environment?
“Quid pro quo” is a Latin phrase and means “a favor or advantage granted or expected in return for something.” Quid pro quo harassment often involves demands for sexual favors in exchange for avoiding being fired or demoted or in exchange for a job promotion.
Unlike quid pro quo where some exchange is involved, a hostile work environment occurs when conduct is either severe enough or pervasive enough that a reasonable person would consider the environment abusive, intimidating or hostile.
Federal and NY State Law Offer Protection Against Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is illegal, no matter what form it takes, and you have the right to report it and request that your employer protect you against it. When the reporting process fails, you have federal agencies such as the EEOC and the New York State Division of Human Rights where you can file a complaint. You also can hire an employment law attorney who can represent you in a claim and sue on your behalf.
Today’s Movement to Eradicate Sexual Harassment
Despite the fact that sexual harassment has been illegal for decades, it has been tolerated and swept under the carpet in many workplaces. You are fortunate to be living in times where an increasing number of employees are exposing sexual harassment. New laws have emerged that provide stricter compliance and broader education in an attempt to wipe out sexual harassment in the workplace. More than ever before, the law is on your side.
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We Can Help You Stand Up for Your Rights
At the Van De Water Law Firm, P.C. we offer compassionate legal counsel to help you deal with sexual harassment. We have been very effective in litigating these types of cases and also in resolving them through arbitration or mediation. Let us make a difference in the outcome of your case.
Call (631) 923-1314 or contact us online today.