Hostile Work Environment
In the booming cosmopolitan environment of New York City, one of the greatest threats to the welfare and safety of workers is prejudice based on race, gender, age, sexual orientation, as well as other perceived differences. When prejudice and discrimination turn into sexual harassment and a hostile work environment, several federal and state laws protect victims and enable them to file claims against harassers. A New York City hostile work environment lawyer knows the gritty details that are associated and can help in the case of discrimination or harassment in the office.
Title VII and the NYC Human Rights Law
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a well-known law that prohibits employment discrimination based on sex, religion, color, race, and national origin. This typically applies to employers with at least 15 employees and includes federal governments, public colleges, employment agencies, and labor organizations. The NYC Human Rights Law of the City Commission on Human Rights enforces rules in addition to Title VII. Both organizations have laws regarding hostile work environment sexual harassment in New York City and throughout the state.
Anyone who claims hostile work environment sexual harassment in New York City has the right to a cause of action in court for damages. The commission will investigate your claim on its own and has the power to determine whether the harasser has committed an unlawful practice. Amendments to the NYC Human Rights Law continue to remove language regarding sexual orientation and give the commission the authority to award attorney’s fees. All businesses and employers with NYC operations must comply with Title VII and the NYC Human Rights Laws or risk a lawsuit.
Types of Workplace Sexual Harassment Claims
To establish a sexual harassment claim in New York City, you should first know which type of sexual harassment you’re a victim of: quid pro quo or hostile workplace environment. Quid pro quo sexual harassment, or “tangible employment action,” includes unwelcome sexual conduct. In a quid pro quo sexual harassment claim, you must establish that your harasser (often a supervisor-employee harassment scenario) expressed or implied that you would receive job-related benefits in return for sexual favors. You don’t need to prove a pattern of harassment for this type of lawsuit.
For a hostile work environment sexual harassment claim, a victim must establish that multiple instances of harassment created an offensive, intimidating, or hostile work environment. Therefore, the plaintiff must establish three things to succeed with this type of claim:
- The employee is a member of a protected class. This can include anyone affected by the conduct, not just the person at whom the harasser directed the conduct.
- The employee was subject to unwelcome sexual or sex-based conduct in the workplace. This is a broad definition of sexual harassment and can include a range of inappropriate or unwanted words, behaviors, or actions.
- The unwelcome conduct was gender-based. For example, this can encompass hostile comments about women or men as a group.
A hostile work environment is one in which someone at work makes doing your job impossible through his or her actions, behaviors, and words. The behavior must be discriminatory in nature, and typically must happen more than once. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission monitors discrimination and hostile work environments and can help victims by investigating the case. However, hiring a New York City hostile work environment lawyer can speed the process along.
Experienced Legal Representation, New York City Hostile Work Environment Attorney
A hostile work environment in New York City can affect your personal and business life. It can make you dread or fear going to work as well as have mental and emotional repercussions. Sexual harassment in the workplace ruins lives and makes victims feel trapped—too afraid to speak up yet unable to quit their jobs. When you’re stuck in a hostile work environment situation, come to Joseph & Norinsberg, LLC, the New York City workplace sexual harassment attorneys. Call 212-587-8423 today for a free initial consultation.
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