Sexual harassment can be defined as the unwelcome or unwanted advances or comments of a sexual nature (usually in the workplace). Sexual harassment can be verbal as well as physical. Sexual harassment claims involve intimidation, bullying or coercive action by the offender and in many instances involve the promise of rewards in exchange for sexual favors. Sexual harassment offenses in these cases also include reverse discrimination (female to male), and same-sex harassment.
Many of the instances of sexual harassment we have handled involve unwanted touching, verbal sex abuse, inappropriate comments, obscene gestures, restriction on movement, sexually inappropriate letters, notes, emails, cartoons, pictures and videos.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) states “It is unlawful to harass a person because of that persons sex”. In New York City, sexual harassment cases fall into two categories.
The first are Hostile Environment cases in which an employee or group must show that a class was subject to severe or pervasive sexual harassment which affected a condition of employment and that the employer should have been aware of the sexual harassment but took insufficient or no remedial action.
The second type of New York City sexual harassment case is the Quid Pro Quo. Quid pro Quo is defined as “something given or received for something else”. In Quid Pro Quo sexual harassment cases an employee is usually forced or leveraged into choosing to submit to the unwanted sexual advances of a superior or peer. The employee may face consequences such as demotion or termination for refusing or in many instances may be rewarded financially or by promotion in exchange.
Pardalis & Nohavicka, LLP is a New York City commercial and business law firm specializing in sexual harassment and discrimination cases in the Federal Trial Courts as well as the Trial Courts for the City and State of New York. Feel free to contact our trial team with any questions at 718.777.0400 or by E-mail.