Articles Posted in Sexual Harassment

Statistical research has clearly shown that sexual harassment is widespread in the restaurant and foodservice industry. Of all Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claims, more than one-third (37%) are claims submitted by restaurant workers. Certainly, one of the factors fueling that number is the financial insecurity many food service workers live with, but don’t let that stop you from speaking up if you’ve been harmed by sexual harassment. Instead, reach out to a knowledgeable New York City sexual harassment lawyer today and find out what legal steps you may be able to take.

M.W. was a food service worker who, according to his lawsuit, endured some very demeaning and terrible forms of sexual harassment during his time working at the Freedom Tower in Manhattan. The Brooklyn man alleged that the perpetrator of his sexual harassment was his supervisor.

Sexual harassment can occur in multiple forms, including unwelcome touching and inappropriate comments or jokes. M.W. allegedly endured both forms of harassment.

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Everyone in New York has the right to earn a living and to do their jobs without their workplace fates controlled by what they will or won’t do sexually for their bosses. If you’ve had your pay, your rank, your hours, your assignments, or your continued employment made conditional on the provision of something sexual, then that very possibly is illegal sexual harassment and you may be entitled to recover substantial compensation as a result. To find out the range of legal options that exist for you, reach out to a knowledgeable New York sexual harassment lawyer right away.

“Quid pro quo” sexual harassment, at its center, is rooted in power dynamics. One person, recognizing that he/she holds a position of great power and influence generally or, at least, greater power and influence than another worker, wields that influence (or threatens to use it) to extract sex from the less-powerful party. That less-powerful person perhaps acquiesces because they fear the economic ramifications of losing their job and/or being “blackballed” from getting another job. In other words, they acquiesce because they feel powerless.

The allegations made in a recent sexual harassment complaint from upstate make for a classic example of “quid pro quo” harassment. According to the alleged victim, who was a secretary for a trial court judge, the harassment began almost as soon as the judge took office, and went on for years.

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Under federal law, you must prove that you suffered either “severe” or “pervasive” harassment to win a hostile work environment case. So, what happens if the harassment you endured was encapsulated in just one incident? Clearly, that’s not pervasive, but can it be severe? The answer is “yes, it can,” so don’t give up on your case just because you don’t have a long list of incidents of harassment. Instead, reach out to an experienced New York sexual harassment lawyer and find out what options exist for you.

The case of B.B., a clerical assistant with the New York Department of Sanitation, is a strong example of what a viable single-incident hostile work environment case looks like.

In 2014, the department reassigned B.B. to a garage in upper Manhattan. At the Manhattan garage, B.B. allegedly was the target of multiple sexually explicit comments about her body.

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Most people, when they contemplate workplace retaliation, picture a worker who is demoted or fired for having filed a discrimination or sexual harassment lawsuit (or EEO claim.) Retaliation in the workplace can take many forms beyond just that, though. If you believe you’ve been punished at work because you stood up for yourself (or others) in opposition to illegal practices in the workplace, you ought to get in touch with a knowledgeable New York employment lawyer right away.

One of the more hotly debated topics within employment law is mandatory arbitration agreements or, more specifically, the interconnection of mandatory arbitration agreements and claims of discrimination. New York State law says that such agreements are void and unenforceable in that context, but that law has experienced a rocky road in court across the last three years. At least two different federal judges in New York have ruled that federal law preempts CPLR Section 7515, allowing the employer to transition the case from court to arbitration.

Sometimes, though, the significance of your mandatory arbitration agreement goes beyond the procedural question of where your case will be litigated and into the question of whether the initiation of the agreement itself was a punitive act done in retalaition. That was the case for M.C., a woman who was the head of recruiting at a New York City financial technology firm.

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27 years ago, the box office blockbuster film Disclosure debuted in theaters. The Demi Moore-Michael Douglas film shone a light on a topic rarely highlighted in a big-budget Hollywood movie: workplace sexual harassment. All sexual harassment is a cancer upon the workplace, but quid pro quo sexual harassment, which was the type featured in Disclosure, is a particularly problematic thing. It places a worker under pressure to provide sex due to that party’s inferior power in the workplace (vis-a-vis the harasser) and the party’s fear of workplace reprisals (up to and including termination.) It is something no worker should have to tolerate and, if it happens to you, waste no time in taking action, including getting in touch with an experienced New York sexual harassment lawyer.

Of course, quid pro quo sexual harassment takes more forms than just what was described above. In some scenarios, the harasser, rather than threatening to punish a refusal, instead offers to use his power for your benefit if you provide sex. Offers like “I’ll make sure you get that promotion if you’ll agree to start dating me” or comments like “you could go far in this industry, and I can help make it happen if you would just ‘play ball’” are examples of this.

The recent case of an upstate New York bartender is a real-life illustration of that kind of alleged quid pro quo harassment. J.K., a bartender at a club in Hudson, sought out his supervisor to discuss possibly doing extra work and making “a little bit more money.” According to the lawsuit, the supervisor, who knew the bartender was gay, replied that he used to sleep with his manager to get shifts he wanted. The man then allegedly asked J.K. if he wanted better shifts, whereupon he spun around in his swivel chair and turned toward the bartender with his legs spread open.

In your federal lawsuit for workplace sexual harassment, one of the keys to getting the best possible result is making sure you get to put before the court all of your evidence, with none of it being stymied but a fallacious effort by the defense to exclude it. Another key is ensuring that you are successful in keeping out all of the defense’s evidence that, according to the rules, is inadmissible. Doing these things will strengthen your case and weaken the defense’s case, thereby giving you an enhanced opportunity for success. To maximize your ability to do all of these things, make sure that you have the representation you need from a knowledgeable New York sexual harassment lawyer.

Undeniably, the #metoo movement did a vital service in exposing the rampant and sometimes severe sexual harassment women endure in certain industries. As the New York Times pointed out back in 2018, though, modeling is an area where men experience an elevated frequency of harassment.

Regardless of your gender, the federal rules can be a powerful friend in your sexual harassment case. Consider, as a good example, the lawsuit of a male model currently proceeding in the Southern District of New York federal court.

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A six-figure sexual harassment and discrimination settlement made national news recently. That’s because one of the alleged wrongdoers wasn’t just any employer – it was one of New York’s best-known celebrity chefs. The case and the settlement serve as a clear reminder that, whether you’re serving sliders at a chain “neighborhood grill” or delivering delicacies at a Michelin-rated establishment, you can find yourself as the target of sexual harassment and discrimination, so you need to know what to do when it happens. That starts with reaching out to a knowledgeable New York sexual harassment and discrimination lawyer to learn more about the legal options available to you.

The agreement ended an investigation by the New York Attorney General’s Office into the restaurants of celebrity chef Mario Batali and his business partner.

According to numerous current and former restaurant workers, Batali engaged in several acts of sexual harassment. Allegedly, the chef, his partner, and their company “fostered a sexualized culture of misconduct and harassment at their restaurants in New York City.”

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The responses that survivors of workplace sexual harassment experience are wide and varied. For those that prefer to resolve their matters through a settlement, some may want to ensure maximum privacy as part of that process. Others of those survivors may want to avoid a settlement that silences them, instead maintaining their freedom to speak out about those who played a role in the harassment. Whatever category you fall into, know that there are options when it comes time to hammer out your settlement agreement. To make sure that your settlement agreement meets your needs and properly protects you, retain a knowledgeable New York sexual harassment lawyer to represent you throughout the process.

For those who seek to avoid being forced to choose between getting closure through a settlement or being free to speak about their experience, New York law has already erected protections. If a bill currently advancing through the state Senate becomes law, more statutory protections for certain survivors of sexual harassment will soon be on the books.

In April 2018, Governor Cuomo signed into law a bill that says an employer may not include a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) in a sexual harassment settlement unless the employee desires it. Mayor de Blasio signed into law a similar rule for New York City one month later.

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Not too long ago, Pew Research Center published research findings that, for many women, were probably supremely unsurprising. While women experienced sexual harassment across a full range of workplaces, the research found that the problem was worst in male-dominated fields. Climbing the ladder and achieving success as a woman in a male-dominated field is hard enough; you shouldn’t also have to overcome the toxicity of sexual harassment, too. If you have experienced a work environment made hostile by sexual harassment, you do not simply have to “deal with it” because the field of work you chose is populated mostly by men. Instead, reach out to a knowledgeable New York sexual harassment lawyer and find out how you can take action.

According to the research released by Pew, about 1 in 5 women in gender-balanced workplaces and female-dominated workplaces experienced sexual harassment at work. For women in male-dominated workplaces, the percentage of workplace sexual harassment was notably higher, at 28%.

A recent report from the New York Daily News is one data point that appears to further back up those numbers. The New York Mets’ baseball organization was, according to multiple female employees, a workplace “toxic” from sexual harassment.

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We’ve almost all seen them. They’re the shows featuring some combination of men and women sitting around discussing the news, politics, or sports issues of the day. While everything may be all smiles on set, behind the scenes may tell a different story. Workplaces like these where people are required to spend long hours working closely together can be a breeding ground for sexual harassment. If you’ve suffered sexual harassment in your TV job, know that there are legal options out there for you. Reach out to a knowledgeable New York employment lawyer to learn more about the best ways to protect your career and yourself.

According to one on-air personality, hers was one of those hostile workplaces. The alleged harasser and the alleged victim were the two co-hosts of a “political entertainment” TV talk show. Both were known celebrities. The alleged victim, B.M., was a former reporter and desk anchor for a major sports network and the alleged harasser, G.M., was a former professional wrestler.

According to B.M., G.M. sent her multiple text messages commenting on her appearance and making overtly sexual comments and also made in-person comments of a similar nature. B.M. eventually reported the harassment to the executive producer of the pair’s TV show but allegedly was rebuffed.

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