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When people think of sexual harassment in the workplace, the typical situation that comes to mind is a male supervisor asking a female employee for sexual favors. However, sexual harassment can actually take on a variety of forms. A co-worker or client can harass another person in the office. A woman can harass a man. A woman can harass another woman, and a man can harass another man.

Same-sex sexual harassment may not be as common as harassment by those of opposite sexes, but it still exists, and it is illegal. Those who are part of the LGBT community in New York are protected by state and federal laws. Read on to learn more about sexual harassment when the victim and harasser are of the same sex.

What is Sexual Harassment?

 Sexual harassment can happen in many ways. It may involve sexual favors or unwelcome sexual advances. It could entail physical or verbal harassment. It may even involve remarks about a person’s gender or sexual orientation, with or without sexual undertones. Also included under sexual harassment are unwanted touching and groping, sexual gestures, derogatory comments, and displaying sexually explicit or offensive images.

Teasing and isolated incidents are typically not against the law. However, it becomes illegal when the incidents are so frequent or severe that they create a hostile or offensive work environment. The harasser can be anyone involved in the company, such as a co-worker, supervisor, client, or customer.

State and Federal Laws

 LGBT employees are protected from sexual harassment under federal law. Title VII of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) prohibits discrimination or harassment based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Transgendered people are also protected under this law, which means that firing or refusing to hire a person because they are transitioning from one gender to another is not allowed. Denying a person access to a restroom or not allowing them to have the same benefits as other employees solely based on their sexual orientation is illegal under this law.

Some states also have laws that prohibit same-sex harassment. In New York, there is the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act (SONDA). Passed in 2003, SONDA protects New Yorkers from harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation in the areas of employment, education, housing, public accommodations, and civil rights.

Those who have faced same-sex harassment or discrimination may file a charge of discrimination with the New York State Division of Human Rights. They may also file a complaint directly in state court. These cases are hard to win, so hiring a lawyer is highly recommended.

Contact a New York Sexual Harassment Attorney

Sexual harassment may involve people of the opposite sex or people or the same sex. It does not matter. If you are being harassed in the workplace, you may be able to file a lawsuit.

Whether the harassment is coming from a co-worker, supervisor, man or woman, the employment law attorneys at Ricotta & Marks, P.C. can help you with your case. We can hold your employer liable for their actions and help you recover compensation. To schedule a free consultation, call (347) 727-0661 or fill out the online form.

Ricotta Marks

Ricotta & Marks, P.C.

We understand that your situation is urgent. Our New York employment discrimination attorneys will respond to your questions and concerns as quickly as possible.

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