Sexual Harassment Lawyers Protect Workers from Retaliation
Lawyers at Leeds Brown Law, P.C. know how hard it can be to deal with sexual harassment. We see cases of workers being sexually harassed at work almost daily. Our attorneys, representing workers in New York City and the surrounding boroughs, understand the negative and long-lasting physical and psychological effects sexual harassment can have on women and men.
Trying to stop conduct of co-workers or supervisors at work when it makes you feel unsafe or uncomfortable is scary. You may be asking yourself who will help me? What do I do? Will I lose my job or be reassigned? These are all justifiable and common concerns we hear from victims of workplace sex harassment in the workplace.
Retaliation is one of the first concerns that employees raise when they consider reporting or complaining about discrimination or harassment. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reported that in 2015, people filed over 30,000 retaliation claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Retaliation against an employee for reporting or complaining about activities that violate Title VII is unlawful.
At Leeds Brown, our sexual harassment attorneys have a deep passion and understanding of the laws and resources available to assist employees who experience retaliation in New York City. If your employer has taken action to retaliate against you for your attempts to put a stop to sexual harassment, you may be entitled to monetary damages. Contact our office to learn more about your rights.
Two Ways Sexual Harassment Occurs in the Workplace
Sexual harassment occurs in one of two ways:
Hostile Environment is when the behavior in the workplace makes it feel unsafe or uncomfortable for the victim. The actions of co-workers, supervisors or other colleagues create what is called a hostile work environment. A hostile working environment may be caused by physical restraint, unwanted touching, telling sexual jokes, repeated requests for dates, emailing unwelcome sexual photos and more.
Consider the following examples:
- Kisses and hugs from your co-worker despite asking him to stop
- Having a co-worker ask you to come in to see her to discuss business but she locks the door and asks if you’d like to get to know her “intimately.”
- Receiving sexually explicit emails from a department head cloaked as work-related messages.
- Receiving persistent unwelcome sexual advances from a customer or vendor
Quid Pro Quo sex harassment occurs when a supervisor or manager demands that a subordinate acquiesces to performing a sexual favor under the threat of a negative employment action or the promise of a benefit.
Consider the following examples:
- Your boss tells you to meet her at her apartment after work or be transferred to the basement office.
- Your company president offers to give you a raise in exchange for sex.
- The head of your department tells you that you may get that promotion you want if you take a romantic getaway with him.
- Your supervisor threatens to remove you from an important project if you don’t wear short skirts every day.
Quid pro quo harassment requires that the perpetrator is in a position of power over the victim. There must be some ability to affect the victim’s employment status or benefits in a negative way.
Retaliation Against Victims of Sexual Harassment is Unlawful in New York City
Your job means a lot to you. You have a financial and personal stake in your work, and these things come into play when deciding how to proceed after being sexually harassed. Most victims fear retaliation despite the fact that it is as unlawful as the harassment itself. Retaliation occurs when an employer takes action to punish a worker for protesting, reporting or cooperating in an investigation of sexual harassment in the workplace.
How Employers Retaliate
Employers retaliate against employees in a variety of way. Taking an adverse action against an employee because they report sexual harassment, is unlawful. Some examples of ways your employer may retaliate are to:
- Transfer you to a different office or department
- Lower your compensation
- Eliminate benefits
- Remove you from a project
- Demote you to a less lucrative position
- Take away a job assignment
- Move you to a different sales territory
There are times when a sexual harassment claim made by an employee has no merit to it. However, employers often punish the employee who files the claim or reports the abuse, and when this happens, the retaliation alone may form the basis of a lucrative cause of action against the employer.
Attorneys Help Victims of Retaliation File Claims in New York City
If your employer has retaliated against you, consider speaking with an attorney right away. For example, if your supervisor sexually harassed you and you told your HR representative, did she help you resolve the issue or did she follow instructions to transfer you to a different building? Did you file a sexual harassment charge with the EEOC or the New York State Division of Human Rights and suddenly start receiving negative performance reviews? Did you cooperate with an investigation and find yourself off of the partner track?
If so, you should promptly notify the appropriate administrative agency or an attorney. You may have a retaliation claim in addition to your underlying sexual harassment claim.
Contact attorneys at Leeds Brown to receive help determining the best way to proceed if you have faced unlawful retaliation in the workplace. We have the right mix of experience and dedication to successfully negotiate a fair resolution of your case. We can help you to file a timely and comprehensive EEOC charge and guide you through the investigative and lawsuit phases if necessary.
Leeds Brown has an excellent track record of obtaining positive outcomes for our clients. All cases differ, and we cannot ever guarantee results, but our hands-on approach means that your matter will get the personal attention and professional representation it deserves.
Contact Leeds Brown, representing clients in New York City and all five boroughs, share the facts of your case and learn about your rights to file a retaliation claim. Someone is available to take your call 24/7 at 1-800-585-4658. Time may be of the essence so be sure to call today.