Employees who belong to traditionally underrepresented or minority groups can be the victims of ongoing workplace harassment. Many New York City employees dread working because they know their co-workers or supervisors will harass them simply because of their age, religious beliefs, skin color, gender, or other characteristics.
Get Help From an NYC Workplace Harassment Attorney
Federal, state and city laws prohibit workplace harassment. If you are a New York City employee and you have had to endure harassment in exchange for employment, you need an experienced employment attorney on your side. At Lipsky Lowe LLP, our attorneys are devoted to protecting New York city employees. We know how to hold employers accountable for their misconduct. Contact us today to learn more about stopping workplace harassment and enforcing your rights.
When Is Workplace Harassment Illegal?
Title 7 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits unlawful harassment. Harassment is defined as unwelcome physical or verbal actions based on color, race, religion, sex, national origin, age (40 or over), disability, or retaliation. Harassment rises to the level of being unlawful when the following conditions are met:
- The contact is sufficiently severe or pervasive to create a hostile work environment, or
- A supervisor’s harassment results in a tangible change in an employee’s employment status or benefits
A tangible change in an employee’s employment status or benefits could include a demotion, termination, failure to promote, or loss of employment benefits. New Yorkers have additional protection under the New York State Human Rights Law. Federal anti-discrimination prohibitions don’t apply to all businesses. However, as of February 8th, 2020, all employers in New York must abide by New York’s provisions on sexual harassment.
The New York City Human Rights Law
Additionally, New York City has implemented an even more protective human rights law that prohibits workplace harassment. Under New York City’s Human Rights Law, an employees subjected to harassment don’t need to prove that the conduct was severe or pervasive to succeed in a claim against their employer. Nonetheless, the conduct must be more than “petty slights and trivial inconveniences.”
All New York City employees have a right to file a harassment claim against their employers, including domestic workers and businesses with fewer than four employees. A person doesn’t need to be an employee to submit a harassment claim in New York City. Contractors, vendors, and third-parties who’ve been subjected to harassment can file a claim against the employer. Thankfully, it is easier to bring a harassment claim in New York City than in any other state in the country.
Who Can Be Guilty of Harassment in the Workplace?
New York’s anti-discrimination law protects employees from harassment from a wide range of people. When an employee is harassed by co-workers, managers, supervisors, subordinates, or even third parties who are not employed by the company, he or she can bring a complaint under New York law. When a manager is harassing a subordinate, the subordinate can hold the company liable for the harassment. When a lower-level employee is harassing someone, the victim will typically need to show that the management was aware or should have been aware of the conduct but didn’t take steps to investigate the complaint and stop the harassment.
If you have been harassed in the workplace, one of the best things you can do is to go through your company’s complaint procedure. Notify the company that harassment has been going on through their human resources department. If they don’t have a human resources department, you can notify your manager. Be sure to keep documentation that you have notified the company of the harassment. Doing so will help your claim. If your employer does not address the harassment, it’s time to discuss your case with an attorney who can help you stop the harassment and hold your employer accountable by pursuing a harassment claim.
Sexual harassment is one of the most common forms of harassment in the workplace. Usually, sexual harassment includes harassment based on a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. When the harassment is unwelcome and based on the victim’s sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation, it is usually considered unlawful sexual harassment.
There are two main categories of sexual harassment. Quid pro quo sexual harassment means that a manager or supervisor has promised an employee favorable job treatment based on the employee’s acceptance of the supervisor’s sexual conduct or advances. Conversely, quid pro quo sexual harassment can also happen when a manager threatens to take negative action against the employee if they don’t accept his or her sexual advances.
Creating a hostile work environment through sexual harassment is also unlawful. When the unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature is so pervasive or severe that it makes the work environment intimidating or threatening, the victim can file a claim. Again, in New York, the victim doesn’t have to prove that the sexual harassment is severe and pervasive to successfully file a claim.
Freedom of religion is a fundamental right that extends to the workplace. When managers, co-workers, or third parties harass an employee due to their religion, they are in violation of federal and state law. employers have a legal duty to educate and train their employees to avoid religious discrimination in the workplace. If you’ve been harassed due to your religious affiliation or beliefs, contact an attorney to discuss your legal options.
New York City is one of the most racially diverse cities globally. Unfortunately, racial discrimination happens daily. Do not settle for being treated differently by your employer because of your race. If you suspect that your employer is treating you differently due to your race or national origin, reach out to an attorney as soon as possible.
Contact a Workplace Harassment Attorney in New York
The workplace harassment attorneys at Lipsky Lowe LLP have helped many New York City clients recover the compensation they deserve. If you have been the victim of sexual harassment at work, we can help you submit a claim with the New York Human Rights Commission or the EEOC.
One of our experienced employment attorneys can represent you in a claim against your employer to recover money for the damages you’ve endured. We can also help you advocate to get your job back, your benefits back, or compensation for any privilege or condition of employment that has been taken from you. Contact Lipsky Lowe LLP today to schedule your free initial consultation.