Same-Sex Sexual Harassment

Serving Victims of Same-Sex Sexual Harassment in New York City

While the #MeToo movement has shined a spotlight on workplace sexual harassment, same-sex sexual harassment continues to go underreported. Nonetheless, local, state and federal laws also apply to same-sex harassment. If you are a man or woman who has been harassed on the job by a member of the same gender, it is important to know your rights.

Lipsky Lowe, a preeminent employment law firm in New York City, is dedicated to rooting out workplace harassment in all its forms, including between same-sex individuals. Whether a supervisor or colleague is the alleged offender, we know how to fight for your rights. Our dedicated employee advocates have a proven track record of helping our clients obtain just compensation and holding responsible parties accountable for same-sex harassment. When you work with our experienced legal team, you can rest assured you will have strength in your corner.

What is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment is considered a form of unlawful sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Supreme Court has held that Title VII also applies to same-sex harassment. In addition, local and state laws in New York and New Jersey explicitly prohibit same-sex sexual harassment in a variety of settings, including employment.

Generally, sexual harassment can involve unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other conduct or comments of a sexual nature made as a condition of employment or the basis of an employment decision, or that creates a hostile work environment. While sexual harassment claims are typically associated with members of the opposite sex, same-sex sexual harassment is not uncommon.

At Lipsky Lowe, we know victims of same-sex sexual harassment have concerns about speaking out — from being humiliated, to being fired, to missing out on employment opportunities. Our attorneys will work hard to address these concerns by providing you with trusted advice and superior service. It is important to remember that Title VII and other applicable employment laws also make it unlawful for employers to retaliate against employees who file a harassment or discrimination claim. We will handle your claim in confidence, treat you with the dignity and respect you deserve, and never stop fighting for you.

How to Identify Same-Sex Sexual Harassment

Incidents involving same-sex harassment often go under-reported because this form of harassment can be difficult to identify and many employees are not aware that it is illegal. Same-sex sexual harassment is similar to other forms of workplace harassment, however.

It can involve demands for sex from a supervisor in exchange for an employment benefit, such as a raise promotion, which is referred to as quid pro quo sexual harassment. Same-sex sexual harassment may also involve unwanted physical touching, sexual comments, obscene gestures or any form of conduct that creates a hostile work environment. A female supervisor can demean, humiliate, or harass a group of female employees based on their gender, for example, or a male employee can make lewd gestures or inappropriately touch a male coworker.

Who is responsible for same-sex sexual harassment?

All employers in New York and New Jersey have a legal obligation to provide their employees with a work environment free from sexual harassment. While Title VII only applies to employers with 15 or more employees, the local and state laws basically cover most employers. This means that an employer can be held liable for not taking corrective action when an employee complains about sexual harassment.

Before filing a lawsuit under Title VII, a victim of same-sex sexual harassment must file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). To have a valid claim, it is necessary for the employee to show that he or she complained about the offensive conduct and that the employer failed to take action. There are no such requirements under the applicable local and state laws, however. A victim of same-sex sexual harassment need only show that he/she was treated less well.

Why Call Lipsky Lowe for Your Same-Sex Sexual Harassment Claim?

We know that sexual harassment victims are often embarrassed to come forward, especially when the offender is a member of the same gender. Many victims even blame themselves for allowing the harassment to occur. If same-sex sexual harassment goes unreported, however, the offensive conduct can escalate into dangerous behavior that exposes employers to serious legal liabilities.

Our attorneys know how to help you fight back and work tirelessly to protect your rights. We will take the time to conduct an intensive investigation, help you document incidents of same-sex sexual harassment, identify and interview witnesses, and take the necessary legal action, whether in an administrative proceeding before the EEOC or a state agency, or in court.

Regardless of the forum — litigation, arbitration or mediation — we can help you recover damages such as back wages, front wages, pain and suffering and other losses.

If you have been the victim of same-sex harassment in the workplace, you may feel angry and humiliated and not know where to turn. Remember, our employment law attorneys are here to help. Please contact our office as soon as possible to set up a consultation.

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