Stand Up to Workplace Sexual Harassment
By Thomas Ricotta on July 11th, 2016 in In The News
Are you a man or a woman who has been exposed to sexually offensive remarks, jokes or gestures in the workplace, even if they are not directed specifically toward you? Are comments about your gender or sexual preferences part of unsolicited conversations? Or perhaps you’ve been subjected to even more overt provocation, including unwanted touching, pornographic material, and quid pro quo arrangements involving sexual activity? Do you feel embarrassed, fearful or otherwise uncomfortable coming forward to object? Is retaliation from your boss a major concern to you?
If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, you are likely the victim of sexual harassment, and you are not alone. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission receives roughly 15,000 sexual harassment complaints annually, which are filed by both females and males. One such case that has been featured prominently in local news of late involves Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson.
Fox News’ Gretchen Carlson Understands Sexual Harassment
Carlson’s complaint cites numerous examples of sexual harassment, including having morning show co-host Brian Kilmeade refer to women as “babes, chicks and skirts” on the air and introducing guest Carmen Electra by commenting on her “great body.” She further alleges that that when she rebuked the blatant sexual advances of Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, he reacted by sidelining her and, eventually, firing her.
Carlson states that her experience with Fox news was not her first brush with sexual harassment in her career. Why didn’t she fight back sooner? “These men were just too powerful. I imagined myself being characterized as a tease, a liar, and worse, and I was frozen with terror. I’m not proud of it, but I stayed silent.”
If you can relate to this experience, don’t let fear paralyze you. Act now, with the personalized, effective team of NYC sexual harassment lawyers at Ricotta & Marks, P.C. on your side.
What Does the Law Say About Sexual Harassment?
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on sex.
- The EEOC’s 1980 guidelines outline the circumstances under which conduct may be considered sexual harassment, as well as employer liability.
- The New York Human Rights Law states that sexual discrimination is unlawful, and that retaliation against a complaint is unlawful, as well.
Each of these laws consider the following standards in determining whether or not harassment occurred:
- Would a “reasonable” person consider the act(s) offensive?
- Did the employer know, or be reasonably expected to know, of the harassment?
How Should I Proceed if I Believe I have a Valid Claim?
If you believe you have been the victim of sexual harassment, it is time to fight back. Under New York State and City laws, you are entitled to file a claim against an individual harasser as well as the company. Contact the compassionate, experienced team at Ricotta & Marks P.C. for your free, confidential consultation.