Whether harassed or accused, sexual harassment is a serious issue. Our Sexual Harassment Law Practice Group has significant experience working with employers to address allegations of harassment. Our team works with yours to implement policies conducive to respectful, equitable workplaces.
Our law firm also has experience representing employees who have been the targets of sexual misconduct or hostile work environments. Workplace sexual harassment can impact healthy company cultures and the emotional health of workers. Preventative policies and proper corrective actions are essential to maintaining good working environments.
What Constitutes Workplace Sexual Harassment?
- A variety of behaviors in the workplace can be considered unlawful sexual harassment. These include unwelcome sexual advances or touching, offensive comments or jokes, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment of an applicant, employee, contractor, or vendor can create significant legal liability for a company.
- Local, state, and federal laws protect employees from workplace sexual harassment and can be broken down into two general categories:
- Quid pro quo:
Claims in which an authority figure requests sexual favors in exchange for promotion, continued employment, and other considerations.
- Hostile work environment:
Claims involving sexual behavior in the workplace, including jokes, pictures, and offensive acts.
- Our Sexual Harassment Law Practice Group provides counseling that helps employers take measures to avoid litigation. With employment litigation filings steadily increasing over the last decade, our pre-litigation strategic advice is imperative.
- We proactively assist employers in developing corporate sexual harassment policies compliant with discrimination and sexual harassment laws. This includes updating employee handbooks to help companies avoid future disputes.
- Our attorneys offer innovative corporate sexual harassment training to ensure that companies comply with local, state, and federal employment laws. Our sexual harassment attorneys can also provide legal advice concerning the internal investigation process and appropriate disciplinary action.
- Sometimes, allegations occur before an organization has successfully implemented or upgraded its corporate sexual harassment policies. In other instances, internal investigation and corrective action might not sufficiently resolve an issue. In these cases, Bleakley Platt’s Sexual Harassment Law Practice Group can provide counseling and representation throughout the litigation process.
- An employee who believes they have been sexually harassed at work should inform the harasser the conduct is unwelcome. Next, they should file a verbal or written report.
- Every employer should have policies in place for reporting misconduct. The policies are typically found in an employee handbook or other company document. Policies can also be requested by contacting a Human Resources Department.
- In the absence of established policies, harassment can be reported to a manager or supervisor. Unfortunately, many employees who experience workplace sexual harassment are fearful a claim will be met with further harassment or termination. We can advise clients regarding issues surrounding claims of sexual harassment and retaliation and proper steps to take.
- There are also external options for reporting sexual harassment. In New York State, for example, employees who are subjected to such behavior can contact the State’s Sexual Harassment Hotline. Employee reports can also be filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission at the federal level. Local or state-level reports can be filed through designated human rights commissions.
- If you are an employee who has been subjected to workplace sexual harassment, you may have legal recourse against your employer. Pursuing a sexual harassment claim can hold parties accountable for sexual misconduct, protect employees from future harassment, and result in compensation.
Our Sexual Harassment Law & Discrimination Attorneys Can Help
Our employment discrimination and sexual harassment attorneys have decades of experience handling employment disputes for companies as well as individual employees. Bleakley Platt’s employment law attorneys, Kathryn L. Barcroft (firstname.lastname@example.org or 914-287-6161) and Joseph DeJuiseppe (email@example.com or 914-287-6144) can be reached for a consultation for any harassment related matters that arise in the workplace.
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