man and woman holding hands looking at eachother longingly workplace relationships

Many romantic couples meet at work. After all, most of us spend a significant number of our working hours at work. Workplace romances can succeed in the long-term, but they are often not permanent. When a dating relationship with a co-worker comes to an end, sexual harassment and retaliation can become an issue. Harassment by a co-worker makes it challenging to focus on work and can easily create a hostile working environment.

Reaching Out to a New York City Sexual Harassment Lawyer

Have you experienced a breakup with one of your co-workers that’s led to harassment in the workplace? If so, the experienced New York City employment lawyers at Lipsky Lowe LLP are here to help. We understand how difficult it is to work in a hostile work environment and deal with harassment and retaliation in the workplace. If your former romantic partner is harassing you or retaliating against you in your workplace, we can help you put an end to it. You may even be entitled to damages. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.

Types of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace After a Relationship Ends

Sometimes it’s challenging to determine what type of workplace conduct is just annoying and what conduct constitutes sexual harassment. Annoying comments or behavior that occur outside of the workplace may rise to the level of illegal sexual harassment in the workplace. Our New York City employment lawyers have helped many clients who’ve experienced various types of harassment after a break-up.

A Co-Worker Continues to Pursue You After Your Relationship Ends 

After a romantic relationship ends between two co-workers, one co-worker may not want to move on. A former romantic partner may continue to pursue the ex-partner during work hours or even after work hours. The former partner may expose himself or herself in a seductive or sexually explicit manner, or the former partner may continue to touch the ex-partner sexually against his or her will at work. 

In other cases, the partner may continue to ask for a romantic date or sexual contact after being turned down. When confronted, the partner who continues to pursue his or her co-worker may claim that they simply want to restart the romantic relationship. When the pursuer is a manager or supervisor or when the employer doesn’t prevent harassment, the victim can hold the employer liable for sexual harassment.

The Spread of Damaging Gossip After a Workplace Relationship Ends

After a workplace breakup, both partners should remain professional and respectful towards one another throughout the workday. Unfortunately, we have seen many cases where one partner begins gossiping and telling unflattering stories about the ex-partner. Whether the gossip is true or not it can damage the victim’s career prospects and professional relationships. The perpetrator may share intimate stories of a sexual nature that could be embarrassing or share other private information that they only know because of a romantic relationship.

The situation can become even more complicated if one of the romantic partners starts to date another person at work or outside the workplace. The ex-romantic partner may feel jealous and spread rumors about the new couple or try to prevent the romantic relationship by using coercion. 

An Employer or Manager Ends a Relationship With a Subordinate

When a person in a position of authority dates a subordinate, there is always an unequal power balance. When the manager, supervisor, or employer ends a relationship with a subordinate, the subordinate could become the victim of sexual harassment. There are cases in which the supervisor uses his or her authority in the workplace to try to pressure the subordinate back into a romantic relationship. When the subordinate says no, the employer may use retaliation against his or her partner. 

What To Do If You’ve Experienced Co-Worker Sexual Harassment 

The best thing you can do is contact an experienced employment lawyer. One of the lawyers at Lipsky Lowe LLP will carefully review your case and help you determine whether your co-worker or supervisor has engaged in sexual harassment. We have an in-depth understanding of how federal and local laws define sexual harassment in the workplace. We will carefully consider the facts in your case and advise you of whether your case is worth pursuing in court. 

In New York, offhand comments, isolated incidents, and simple teasing are not considered illegal sexual harassment in the workplace. Suppose your ex romantic partner asked you to go on one date after you broke up. This would probably not constitute sexual harassment. However, if you told your co-worker no and asked him or her to stop asking you out and your co-worker continues, you likely have a valid sexual harassment case.

If you have experienced legal sexual harassment, you have several options for filing a claim. You can file a claim with New York City, the state of New York, or as a federal EEOC claim. There are slightly different requirements for each type of case, and we will advise you on your best path forward. Our legal team can also help you stop any ongoing sexual harassment by communicating with your employer. Our clients often feel a sense of relief when they know their claim is in our hands and they no longer have to deal with co-worker sexual harassment alone.

Contact an NYC Sexual Harassment Lawyer

Dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace is always difficult. However, sexual harassment stemming from a relationship that has ended creates a unique set of difficulties. If you’ve been harassed after a relationship ended, you do not need to continue to suffer at your job. The skilled New York employment lawyers at Lipsky Lowe LLP can help you stop sexual harassment. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to discuss whether you have a valid claim for compensation.