Mayor’s Resignation Shows Sexual Harassment Can Occur at Any Workplace in New York, Nationwide

file6521235526704 morguefile username jdurham.jpgIn a case that has garnered national headlines, San Diego Mayor Bob Filner has announced he will resign effective August 30th amid numerous allegations of workplace sexual harassment. According to Filner, his actions were only meant to form personal relationships with his subordinates and he claims that he did not intentionally sexually harass anyone. Still, the politician issued a formal apology to his accusers. Filner began serving as the city’s mayor in December 2012.

The San Diego City Council recently voted to remove the 70-year-old man from his position as mayor following a public hearing on the matter. Since July, at least 18 women have reportedly alleged that the former Congressman sexually harassed and inappropriately touched them over the course of his decades-long political career. In addition, a former aide recently filed a harassment lawsuit against Filner. Mediation in that case is apparently currently ongoing. A spokesperson for the California Attorney General’s Office, Nicholas Pacilio, stated a criminal investigation into the allegations against Filner is also now underway.

Workplace sexual harassment in the State of New York and elsewhere in the nation occurs when an employer’s decisions are based upon an employee’s response to unlawful sexual advances. A worker may be threatened with demotion, be fired, or suffer other penalties for refusing a boss or co-worker’s unwelcome sexual advances. Additionally, sexual harassment can result in a hostile work environment. A hostile work environment often occurs when spoken statements or undesirable physical contact unreasonably interfere with an employee’s ability to properly perform his or her job duties. Such an environment may also result when a worker is offended or intimidated by a boss or co-worker’s behavior.

Despite that the applicable laws do not specifically state so, sexual harassment is generally considered a form of gender discrimination in New York. Employees who suffered workplace sexual harassment may be entitled to recover financial damages from their employer as a result of the harm inflicted upon them. If you were sexually harassed by a superior or co-worker, you should consult with a quality employment lawyer to discuss your rights.

The hardworking attorneys at Phillips & Associates represent the victims of workplace sexual harassment and discrimination in New York City and surrounding areas. At Phillips & Associates, our dedicated lawyers will fight to protect your rights at the municipal, state, and federal levels. To schedule a free, confidential consultation with a caring advocate, do not hesitate to call our knowledgeable attorneys at (212) 248-7431 or contact Phillips & Associates through our website.

More Blog Posts:

Manhattan Hotel Kitchen Worker Sues Employer Over Alleged Co-Worker Sexual Harassment, New York Employment Attorney Blog, August 16, 2013
Federal Law Prohibits Employers in New York and Elsewhere from Terminating a Worker Over Medical Leave Related to a Miscarriage, New York Employment Attorney Blog, August 9, 2013
Additional Resources:

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, accused of sexual harassment, apologizes to accusers and agrees to resign, by Leslie Larson, New York Daily News

San Diego Mayor Resigns Amid Sexual Harassment Claims, by Alana Abramson, abcnews.go.com

Photo credit: jdurham, morgueFile

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