Articles Posted in Sexual Harassment

In a case of illegal retaliation, one of the crucial elements is something the law calls a “causal connection,” which is the linkage between the illegal conduct and the harmful employment action that followed. One powerful way to establish a causal connection is something called “temporal proximity,” which means closeness in time. To establish the sort of close temporal proximity needed for a proper causal connection, you need clear evidence that closely ties your punishment to your protected activity. When it comes to collecting this evidence and presenting the necessary arguments to the court, having an experienced New York retaliation lawyer on your side is essential.

A sexual harassment and retaliation case from Brooklyn is a clear illustration. J.E., the plaintiff, was a man who began working as a middle school teaching assistant in 2017. Later that year, S.L., a teacher at the school, allegedly began making unwanted sexual advances toward the assistant. The teacher made those advances repeatedly through the end of the school year, according to the assistant. The harassment allegedly included text messages like “We are hot white girls. You can’t handle us,” as well in-person harassment like calling the man her “Black lover.”

On May 10, 2018, the assistant reported the teacher’s harassment to the school principal. The principal allegedly did not believe him but did inform him of his right to file a claim with the Office of Equal Opportunity. The next day, the school suspended the assistant without pay and did not inform him of the basis for the suspension.

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For some workers, sexual harassment is something that can force them to confront some difficult choices, like whether or not to leave their job. Even if you’ve decided to stay in your current workplace, it is important to contact a knowledgeable New York sexual harassment lawyer as soon as possible. The law erects some strict deadlines for taking action and failure to meet those deadlines potentially can have extremely harmful impacts.

For some other workers, these deadlines may trigger a loss of certain older pieces of evidence. For others, though, the law may allow you to use older incidents of harassment, even if they occurred outside the window of “timeliness” that the law generally allows.

One scenario in which that’s true is something called a “continuing violation,” of which a recent sexual harassment case from Westchester County is a good example.

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When you’ve been the target of sexual harassment at work, it may become necessary to seek relief through the legal system. Once you’ve decided to sue, your case can proceed in a variety of directions. Often, your employer will oppose you vigorously or will seek to settle. Sometimes, though, your employer won’t do anything at all. Just because your employer does nothing, success is not automatically yours. You still have procedural and evidentiary hurdles you must clear to get the compensation you deserve. An experienced New York sexual harassment lawyer can help you ensure you are doing everything necessary to maximize your success.

A sexual harassment case brought by a heterosexual woman and a gay man who worked at a pizzeria is an example of both the variety of potential pathways forward after you sue, and what’s necessary when a defendant does nothing.

The woman, who worked as a server, allegedly encountered both verbal and physical harassment. One of the three men who owned and managed the pizzeria, A.O., allegedly told the server on numerous occasions that he wanted to have sex with her. That owner also allegedly “inappropriately touched and grabbed” her from behind when she was stocking shelves.

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Two well-known public figures in New York are in the news this month and, in each circumstance, the basis for their scandals relates back (at least in part) to their alleged actions at previous workplace holiday party events. These news stories are stark reminders of the fact that, while workplace holiday parties should be a joyous and celebratory time, they’re too often marred by employees who engage in sexual harassment and/or sexual assault. If that has happened to you, the law allows you to seek compensation, so you should promptly get in touch with an experienced New York City sexual harassment lawyer.

Current New York State Attorney General Letitia James has been accused by some of seeking to improperly protect longtime former chief of staff, Ibrahim Khan, in the wake of sexual harassment allegations against him. In 2017, a former coworker accused Khan of drugging and sexually assaulting her at a 2014 holiday party held at a Tribeca pub, according to the New York Post.

James’s aide isn’t the only New York public figure under scrutiny for his holiday party behavior. There’s also a former bureau chief within the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office. Multiple women made numerous allegations, including one DA’s office employee who alleged that, at a holiday party, the chief engaged in unwanted touching of her leg and also made comments “of a sexual nature” about the woman’s shoes and legs, the Post reported.

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As most people — lawyers and non-lawyers alike — know, most civil lawsuits start with a complaint, followed by a response from the defense, after which comes pre-trial discovery and motions, possible settlement negotiations, and if the case is still unresolved, a trial. Sometimes, though, cases don’t follow that usual path. An experienced New York City sexual harassment lawyer can help your hostile work environment case in lots of ways, especially when your case doesn’t follow the typical pattern listed above.

For example, what do you do when you file your sexual harassment complaint and the defense responds by doing… nothing?

That was the scenario facing B.M., a woman working in the investments and finance business. She was a successful hedge fund analyst and consultant who, in 2021, took a position in investor relations with a Lower Manhattan-based firm.

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The phrase “holistic approach” is popular in many fields these days, from education to healthcare to business. The word holistic, according to the Oxford Dictionary, means “characterized by comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.” What does that have to do with employment law? More than you might think, especially if you have been the victim of a pervasively hostile work environment. A recent hostile work environment case from just to our north reinforces the rule that, in hostile work environment cases, the courts must consider the misconduct not as a series of separate events but rather as a single picture to be assessed holistically. Whether the harassment you endured was pervasive or was less frequent but more egregious, a knowledgeable New York City hostile work environment lawyer can help you get the relief you deserve.

The employee in the case, V.M., was a machine equipment operator in the highway department of a town in Rockland County. The operator’s decade-long time on the job was permeated with a wide array of acts of sex discrimination and harassment, according to her lawsuit. One supervisor allegedly barred her from using the women’s restroom in the administrative portion of the highway department office, thereby forcing her to change clothes in a closet infested with rats.

A non-supervisory male member of another crew allegedly tried to close V.M.’s fingers in doors and blocked her pathway in the parking lot. A foreman on a different road crew “bullied [V.M.] by making “disgusting noises” when she passed him and blocking doorways she tried to enter,” according to the complaint. That foreman also allegedly yelled at V.M. for refusing to drive a truck that she’d previously identified as needing maintenance work.

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Many studies agree that sexual harassment is a widespread problem in the restaurant industry. Last summer, around the same time that celebrity chef Mario Batali agreed to settle a case brought by the New York Attorney General, NPR reported that a 2021 study from Social Science Research Solutions found that 71% of female restaurant workers had experienced some degree of sexual harassment on the job. For female tipped workers, the number was even higher, at 76%. If you’ve endured harassment in your restaurant work, you don’t have to be quiet and tolerate it. Instead, you can take action by getting in touch with a knowledgeable New York City sexual harassment lawyer to discuss and go over your legal options.

Undeniably, workplace harassment is damaging to its victims. On top of the harassment itself, speaking out against harassment comes with its own separate set of problems, mainly retaliation. Complaining about inappropriate comments, jokes, or sexual advances, whether perpetrated by coworkers, supervisors, or customers, potentially can cost some women their jobs. For those living “paycheck to paycheck,” a sudden and unplanned job loss like that can be catastrophic.

This harassment is almost always more than just an intemperate remark or a few slightly problematic jokes. Take, for example, the sexual harassment case of R.C. and several other female workers at a Rochester restaurant.

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The law against workplace sexual harassment derives from the public policy that strongly condemns such behavior. The law that allows a harassment victim to hold her employer liable for coworker harassment similarly condemns harassment and requires employers to develop responses that likewise demonstrate the employer’s stringent opposition to workplace sexual harassment. If your employer did not respond appropriately, then you may be entitled to hold it liable, even if your harasser stopped of his own accord. A harasser stopping on his own is rare, but does happen and, when it does, it represents a significant wrinkle and potential complication for your case. It does, however, doom your case. Consult with a knowledgeable New York sexual harassment lawyer to learn what options the law has for you.

A.P. was one of those workers caught in that type of scenario. Working as an intern for a division of the U.S. Department of Defense at an office upstate in 2019 and 2020, she encountered a male coworker who allegedly engaged in multiple acts of sexual harassment.

The harassment alleged was very overt and was of the sort that will ring all too familiar to many working women. According to the complaint, the man sent the woman numerous messages on Facebook Messenger describing things like his being naked and self-pleasuring while working from home, having sex dreams about the woman, and becoming aroused thinking about her. He told her about his desire to look up her dress t work, he sent the woman a picture of his genitals, he asked her about her favorite sexual positions, and he inquired about whether or not she wore underwear, the woman alleged.

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A recent commercial for Apple’s iPhone touts the device’s ability to keep your private information private. The commercial points to an ever-increasing concern in today’s world. We all know that we have personal information stored in a variety of places and, in some of those, we’re not the one in control of the flow of that content. Sometimes, the concern is the exposure of information that could be personally or professionally damaging to you. When the one doing that disclosing is your employer and the reason they’re doing it is a retaliatory one, then you may be entitled to sue and obtain compensation under the newly amended New York State Human Rights Law. A knowledgeable New York City workplace retaliation attorney can help show you how to accomplish this.

Earlier this year, the New York legislature passed S.5870/A.7101, and Gov. Kathy Hochul signed it into law. The bill amended Section 296 of the New York State Human Rights Law to expand the definition of what can constitute actionable retaliation. The new definition says that retaliation “may include… disclosing an employee’s personnel files because he or she has opposed any practices forbidden under this article or because he or she has filed a complaint, testified or assisted in any proceeding under this article…”

In other words, if you were engaged in a protected activity and your employer, in an attempt to harm you, disclosed some or all of your personnel file, then that’s against the law now. The range of protected activities can be anything from, say, testifying in a coworker’s age discrimination case to filing your own formal sexual harassment claim to complaining to your supervisor about race discrimination in your work area to assisting a colleague in their sexual orientation discrimination case. These are just a few examples.

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A recent ruling in a case involving female servers at a Brooklyn diner is important and instructive for several reasons. Not the least of which is that it reminds readers that the standards for proving sex discrimination or sexual harassment are different under the New York City Human Rights Law as opposed to state or federal law. Understanding the differences between the NYCHRL, the New York State Human Rights Law, and federal law can be crucial to your sex discrimination or sexual harassment case, so make sure that, before you file, you retain the services of an experienced New York City sex discrimination lawyer.

During her time working at the diner in Brooklyn, B.S. allegedly endured a variety of gross sexual improprieties and impositions. According to the server’s sexual harassment complaint she filed in federal court, her male supervisor once followed her into the women’s restroom, where he “cornered” her and exposed himself to her. On another occasion, that man allegedly asked B.S. to touch his genitals.

Unfortunately, the harassment was not limited to that supervisor. Other male workers at the diner allegedly touched the woman “in sexually inappropriate ways” and also would “leer and jeer at her in a sexual manner.” The server complained to other supervisors but, according to the lawsuit, they simply laughed at her. Not long after that, the diner fired B.S.

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