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Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment

SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Have you been sexually harassed?

Sexual harassment can take several forms. Quid pro quo harassment occurs when

(1) job benefits, including employment, promotion, salary increases, shift or work assignments, performance expectations and other conditions of employment, are made contingent on the provision of sexual favors, usually to an employer, supervisor or agent of the employer who has the authority to make decisions about employment actions, or

(2) the rejection of a sexual advance or request for sexual favors results in a tangible employment detriment, a loss of a job benefit of the kind described above.

Employers are generally held strictly liable for quid pro quo sexual harassment perpetrated by supervisors and managers because they are deemed to be acting directly on behalf of their employer. In addition, employers are held strictly liable for quid pro quo sexual harassment where the harassment results in a tangible job detriment - suspension, demotion, termination. Employer are also liable for harassment that was reported to the employer but was not remedied by the employer.

Hostile work environment sexual harassment occurs when unwelcome sexual conduct unreasonably interferes with an employee's job performance or creates a hostile, intimidating, or offensive work environment. Under hostile work environment harassment, the harassment need not result in an adverse employment action to be actionable. This form of sexual harassment may include:

  • * Repeated requests for sexual favors
  • * Demeaning sexual inquiries and vulgarities
  • * Offensive or degrading language
  • * Sexually offensive, explicit or sexist signs, cartoons, calendars, literature or photographs displayed in plain view.

Employers are generally held strictly liable for hostile work environment sexual harassment perpetrated by supervisors and managers because they are deemed to be acting directly on behalf of their employer. In addition, employers are held strictly liable for hostile work environment sexual harassment where the harassment results in a tangible job detriment - suspension, demotion, termination. . Employer are also liable for harassment that was reported to the employer but was not remedied by the employer.

Employer are also liable for retaliating against a victim of sexual harasser if the employer takes any adverse action against an employee who reports sexual harassment.

To file a sexual harassment claim in Federal Court, an employee must first file at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission within 300 days of the harassment. In addition, sexual harassment claims can be filed at the New York State Division of Human Rights within 1 year of the claim of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment claims may also be filed in New York State Court within 3 years of the harassment.

An employee may be awarded backpay, frontpay, compensatory damage, punitive damages, counsel fees, and reinstatement for successful claims of sexual harassment.

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