Sexual harassment in the workplace is bad enough under any circumstances, but it is particularly troublesome when it comes from a supervisor. Workplace supervisors have direct control over employees’ duties and activities, as well as their employment evaluations, and therefore their opportunities for advancement and promotion.
Sexual harassment can be defined as harmful or annoying conduct motivated by the sex of the employee – a type of gender discrimination. It may be perpetrated by co-workers or even non-employees, such as clients of a firm.
However, it is frequently committed by individuals in positions of authority or power over the victims. Sexual harassment from a supervisor puts an employee in a particularly difficult position.
Supervisor sexual harassment violates federal, state and New York City law. It is unlawful under Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964. It is also unlawful under the State of New York Human Rights Law and under Title 8 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York.
It is a violation of law to harass an employee or someone applying for a job in a sexual manner or because of that person’s gender. Sexual harassment includes requests for sexual favors, sexual advances, and any physical or verbal harassment of a sexual nature.
Harassment can be perpetrated by a male or female boss or supervisor, and the victim can be of the same or the opposite sex. The law does not necessarily apply to an offhand comment or isolated minor incident or remark. However, when the behavior becomes severe or frequent enough to affect employment decisions, such as firing or demoting an employee, or to create a hostile work environment, then it may be considered sexual harassment and a violation of the law.
Employees and job applicants in the state of New York have recourse for supervisor sexual harassment. They can file complaints with the New York State Division of Human Rights and with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In New York City, victims can also file complaints with the NYC Commission on Human Rights.
These various complaint processes can be complicated, confusing and slow-moving, as they involve government agencies and bureaucracies. However, it is a requirement that you must file a complaint with the EEOC before filing a civil lawsuit for violations of the laws enforced by the EEOC.
Our Long Island sexual harassment lawyers at Cohen & Jaffe LLP can help you gather evidence to support your claim and properly file your complaints. We can also provide aggressive and effective representation in a civil lawsuit against your employer.
If your supervisor has violated your rights through sexual harassment, you may be entitled to recover damages for the harm you have suffered. Damages may include lost wages, future lost wages (front pay), pain and suffering, mental anguish, shock and discomfort, and punitive damages (designed to punish) in some cases involving egregious conduct.
Our dedicated legal team at Cohen & Jaffe, LLP, has the skills, experience and resources to handle complex supervisor sexual harassment cases, and we are committed to taking a stand against sexual harassment in the workplace. We also understand how complicated, confusing and embarrassing this type of claim can be for the victim.
Attorneys with our firm are well-versed in dealing with the government agencies involved in sexual harassment claims. We are also committed to aggressively pursuing the maximum damages you are entitled to receive and sending a message to those who harassed you.
Every harassment claim is different. We take the time to fully understand your unique situation. It takes skill and experience to know which factors could make the difference in a successful lawsuit.
Contact us today to start the discussion and get the quality legal help you need. The consultation is free and completely confidential.