Representing Victims of Supervisor Sexual Harassment Throughout New York
Although sexual harassment is a form of unlawful sex discrimination, harassment allegations against a supervisor or boss are not uncommon. Whether making sexual advances or offensive comments to a subordinate, supervisors — as well as any business that creates or tolerates a hostile work environment — must be held accountable.
Lipsky Lowe, LLP is dedicated to helping our clients fight back against workplace harassment in New York and New Jersey. Our employment law attorneys leverage their legal knowledge and skill to provide our clients with dedicated advocacy. Knowing that victims of supervisor sexual harassment are often afraid to speak out, we will be the strength in your corner.
What is supervisor sexual harassment?
Supervisor sexual harassment occurs when a person in a position of authority demands sexual favors as a condition of employment or in return for job benefits such as raises, bonuses, or promotions. This form of harassment is referred to as quid pro quo or this for that. Particular types of conduct by a supervisor that may constitute harassment include:
- Unwelcome sexual advances/requests for sexual favors
- Making sexually suggestive gesture or comments
- Taking an adverse employment action — warning, firing, or demoting an employee for refusing a sexual advance
- Uninvited comments about a person’s appearance
- Derogatory comments or intimate questions about an employee’s sexual history
- Denying a promotion or other benefit to an employee for rejecting sexual advances
- Retaliating against employees who cooperate in the investigation of a sexual harassment claim
In any event, supervisor sexual harassment is considered a form of unlawful sexual harassment under applicable laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), the New York State Human Rights Law, the New York City Human Rights Law and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination.
Are employers responsible for co-worker sexual harassment?
Employers may be strictly liable for harassment by a supervisor if they have a sufficient degree of control over the working conditions of the victim, regardless of whether or not the employer has knowledge of the harassment. Strict liability does not require a finding of fault, such as negligence or malice. Instead, it is only necessary to prove that the harassment occurred and the employer was responsible.
What are my rights if my boss is sexually harassing me?
The employment law attorneys at Lipsky Lowe will advise you about all of your legal options. First, it is possible to file a lawsuit under Title VII, however, you must first file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). If the Commission cannot resolve the claim, you can proceed with a civil lawsuit. It is important to note that Title VII only applies to employers with 15 or more employees. Moreover, having a valid claim requires showing that the conduct created an environment in which it was impossible to work.
In addition, there is more flexibility under the local and state laws in New York and New Jersey. There is no requirement to file a charge with the EEOC or a similar state agency, for example, and these laws generally cover most employers. Finally, under the New York laws, the burden of proof is lower because it is only necessary to show that you were treated less well because of your gender.
How much is my supervisor sexual harassment lawsuit worth?
Although each case is unique, you may be entitled to compensation such as back pay, front pay, damages for emotional distress as well as punitive damages. Back pay will be awarded if the employer has taken an adverse employment action against you for filing a sexual harassment complaint. This compensation includes wages, bonuses, paid time off, and the monetary value of employment benefits (e.g., health insurance, retirement benefits).
Under Title VII, you may also be entitled to reinstatement, which means if you were fired or quit due to sexual harassment, you must be permitted to return to your job. Nonetheless, this is unworkable in which case front pay may be awarded to compensate you for wage losses you may sustain in the future.
In addition, compensatory damages (referred to as pain and suffering) may be available if you sustained emotional harm, your reputation was damaged or you incurred out of pocket costs because of supervisor sexual harassment (e.g., medical bills for counseling, job search costs). Punitive damages may be awarded if the employer knew about the workplace harassment but failed to take corrective action. Finally, you may also be able to recover attorneys fees and reasonable costs, which means you will not pay any attorneys’ fees to us in advance.
What an NYC Workplace Harassment Lawyer From Lipsky Lowe Will Do For You
Our employment law attorneys are keenly aware that victims of supervisor sexual harassment not only experience lingering humiliation but lost opportunities as well. We will explain all of your rights and explore all of your options, including filing a claim with the appropriate government agency or pursuing litigation in state and federal court. Regardless of the forum, we will work tirelessly to help you obtain the compensation you deserve. When you work with Lipsky Lowe, you will have peace of mind knowing that dedicated advocates are fighting for your rights. We will offer you knowledge, compassion, and superior personal service. Call our office today or complete the convenient online contact form to set up a free consultation.