Sexual Harassment at Work
No one, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or gender identification, should be required to put up with sexual harassment in the workplace. Recently, some high-profile cases have brought this often uncomfortable subject into the national spotlight, causing many people who have been affected by sexual harassment (or sexual abuse) in the past to come forward to tell their stories or to take legal action against those who acted wrongfully or engaged in a cover-up to keep the offender from facing repercussions. If you have been a target of sexual harassment and are ready to do something about the misconduct perpetrated against you, Rockland County sexual harassment lawyer Valerie J. Crown can help.
Just as workers’ compensation laws protect people who have been injured on the job and ERISA benefits people who have disability claims against their employers or insurance companies, there are federal and state laws in place for the protection of people who find themselves subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace. One of these laws is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a broad federal law designed to protect employees from discrimination based on, among other things, their sex. Under Title VII, a worker cannot be legally discharged, assigned inferior work, or otherwise subjected to discrimination based solely on gender in most situations, nor can an employee be harassed based on his or her membership in a protected class. This includes unwelcome sexual advances.Quid Pro Quo and Hostile Work Environment Harassment
A common form of sexual harassment in the workplace is quid pro quo harassment. In legal vocabulary, the term “quid pro quo” refers to a favor or an advantage that is given in return for something. As a sexual harassment attorney in Rockland County can explain, it also refers to a situation in which an employee is asked to provide some type of sexual service for the gratification of (usually) someone who is a higher rank in the workplace in exchange for the “favor” of keeping his or her job, receiving a promotion (or not being demoted), getting a certain work shift, or something similar. Another unfortunately common form of sexual harassment is a hostile work environment, in which an employee must endure offensive conduct as a condition to continued employment or be subjected to conduct that is severe or pervasive enough to be considered intimidating, hostile, or abusive.
People who believe that their legal rights may have been violated by a harasser in the workplace have a limited time in which to take action, so it is important to talk to a Rockland County sexual harassment attorney as soon as possible. In many instances, a formal complaint must be made with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission within a certain time period. If an employee is successful in a sexual harassment case, he or she may be able to recover compensatory damages, such as back pay. Other forms of compensation are similar to those available in a personal injury case, such as medical expenses, economic losses, and loss of enjoyment of life. In cases in which a defendant is proven to have acted with malice or reckless indifference, an employee may seek punitive damages as well.Contact a Knowledgeable Sexual Harassment Lawyer in Rockland County
If you have been subjected to harassment in the workplace because of your gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity, Valerie J. Crown will be glad to talk to you about your legal rights. Call us at 845.708.5900, call Valerie’s cell phone at 845.598.8253, or contact us online to set up a free consultation. Valerie listens closely to the needs and goals of her clients, taking the time to understand each person’s individual situation and providing them with a level of attention that a large law firm cannot offer. We also handle nursing home abuse cases and medical malpractice lawsuits throughout Rockland, Westchester, Dutchess, Ulster, and Orange Counties.