Workplace sexual harassment is illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)—the agency tasked with enforcing Title VII—defines sexual harassment as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature” when such behavior affects an individual’s employment or creates an intimidating or offensive workplace environment. In New York, the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL) and New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) also protect workers against sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment is a type of sex discrimination and can happen to anyone, regardless of gender: for instance, if the harasser is female and the victim is male or if the victim and the harasser are the same gender. Sexual harassment is usually categorized in one of two ways: “quid pro quo” or “hostile environment.”Quid Pro Quo
Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs where, for example, an employer demands sexual favors from an employee for the employee to keep their job or in exchange for something which affects the employee’s job, like a raise or promotion.Hostile Environment
Hostile environment sexual harassment is characterized by a pattern of offensive, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other sexual conduct which interferes with an employee’s ability to perform their job and creates an intimidating, hostile, or abusive work environment. This type of sexual harassment may be less obvious or straightforward than quid pro quo sexual harassment and can include inappropriate suggestive remarks or gestures, questions about an employee’s sexual preferences, and sexual touching, among other things.Your Rights
You do not have to tolerate sexual harassment in your workplace or school. The Harman Firm, LLP offers the experience, support, and dedication you need to handle a sexual harassment lawsuit.