Over the past few months, the news headlines have been laden with allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse. It seems that no industry is immune to inappropriate sexual conduct in the workplace. And with the holiday season approaching, many employees and employers are going to be on their toes more than ever.
To many, the idea of a workplace holiday party brings to mind images of over-consuming professionals in a casual environment acting without due regard for the normal workplace mores. However, too often what is claimed to be “innocent fun” by one party to the conversation is neither innocent nor fun to the other. And it isn’t just employees who are concerned about unwanted sexual advances or misconduct; employers fear the legal liability and negative press that accompany New York sexual harassment at a holiday party.
According to a recent news article, due to the current climate of rampant sexual misconduct, many employers are rethinking the way they plan their holiday parties in hopes of curbing any sexual misconduct that may occur. The biggest difference seems to be whether the company will provide alcohol and, if so, how much is provided.
The article notes that, according to a recent survey, just 49% of companies plan to serve alcohol at their company party. This number was down from 62% last year. Additionally, those companies that do serve alcohol are considering serving less of it, while at the same time serving more food. Some companies are even bringing on staff to patrol hallways and keep an eye out for party-goers who seem to be in uncomfortable situations with other guests.
Sexual Harassment and Misconduct in the Workplace
Sexual harassment is illegal in the workplace, and employers have a duty to prevent it when possible. Furthermore, the definition of what constitutes harassment or misconduct may be broader than most understand it to be. Uncomfortable sexual advances, inappropriate touching, and crude sexual jokes can all be considered workplace sexual harassment. Even if a holiday party is held off company property, sexual misconduct or harassment that occurs at the party is still against the law.
Holiday party sexual harassment is just one example of sexual misconduct. However, with the holiday season approaching, employees should always remain vigilant at holiday parties and should feel confident shutting down inappropriate conduct immediately. If the conduct persists, contact management, and if management fails to take steps to remedy the situation, consult with a New York sexual harassment attorney to discuss your options.
Have You Been Subjected to Sexual Harassment in the Workplace?
If you have recently been a victim of holiday party sexual harassment, or any other type of New York workplace harassment, you should consult with an attorney at the law firm of Phillips & Associates. At Phillips & Associates, we represent victims of employment discrimination, including those who have been subjected to sexual harassment or sexual misconduct. Call 347-514-8405 to schedule a free consultation to confidentially discuss your case with a dedicated New York sexual harassment attorney.
More Blog Posts:
New York State Investigation and Lawsuits Review Liability of Hollywood Producer’s Company for Sexual Harassment and Assault, New York Employment Attorney Blog, November 16, 2017
Gathering Evidence to Prove Sexual Harassment in New York, New York Employment Attorney Blog, November 6, 2017
How Employment Laws in New York and Around the Country Deal with Sexual Assault as a Form of Sexual Harassment, New York Employment Attorney Blog, November 27, 2017