Workplace harassment and discrimination based on sex is prohibited by federal law, specifically Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII). This law applies to organizations with at least 15 employees and includes local, state and federal governments. Recognizing the signs of sexual harassment is not as easy as one would believe, because it takes having a clear understanding of when behavior crosses the line to become inappropriate.
Prevention is the best tool in fighting sexual harassment, however, this is not always possible even if policies and procedures are put in place. Thankfully, the law in this area goes beyond prohibiting harassing behavior; it also makes it unlawful for employers to retaliate against a victim who reports the harassment by filing a discrimination charge, testifying or even participating in a proceeding, investigation or litigation.
Five Signs of Sexual Harassment
If you or someone you know believes he or she is the victim of workplace sexual harassment, contact a seasoned sexual harassment lawyer in NYC. Below are five telltale signs that you are being sexually harassed at work.
- Sexist behavior – jokes, comments, or any other sexually charged acts are discriminatory, whether directed at you personally or to a specific gender, and should be addressed immediately.
- Inappropriate name-calling – harassment does not have to be explicitly sexual in nature, but rather can include “offensive” remarks about a person’s sex. For example, if female and not male employees are given offensive names in the workplace, that could constitute harassment even if the names are not sexual in nature.
- Physical or verbal harassment – grabbing, standing too close, and unwanted touching are all obvious examples of sexual harassment. Verbal harassment may include whistling, making lewd noises or even uncomfortable staring.
- Offensive jokes or comments – while the workday may include co-workers engaging in personal conversations, when these talks consistently involve degrading, demeaning or discriminatory situations that are sexual in nature, the line has been crossed. Harassment goes beyond mere words, however, and includes offensive materials as well.
- Coercion or bribery – known as “quid pro quo”, this occurs when someone in a position of power or authority intimidates another by demanding sexual favors in exchange for some type of employment action (i.e. raise, demotion, termination or job security).
Victims of sexual harassment are not just the individuals experiencing unwanted attention or advances from coworkers or supervisors. Indeed, if someone witnesses or overhears behavior that is sexual in nature and finds it offensive this can create a hostile work environment.
Sexual Harassment Lawyer NYC
If you or someone you know has experienced sexual harassment in the workplace – or is the victim of any other type of workplace discrimination – contact the skilled sexual harassment lawyers NYC has to offer. The sensitive and aggressive attorneys at Ricotta & Marks, P.C. will fight on your behalf. We have years of experience and are well-versed in federal, state and local laws governing these cases. Contact the NYC office at (347) 464-8694 today for a free case evaluation