An Employer is Responsible for the Acts of its Supervisors
Men and women can become targets for sexual harassment in the workplace, and both men and women can be sexual harassers. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, in 2018, there were over 13,055 charges for sexual harassment. Have you experienced sexual harassment in your workplace? In New York State, sexual harassment is defined as any form of unwelcome sexual advances. These sexual advances include, but are not limited to sexual favor requests, and physical and verbal harassment of a sexual nature. New York State employers have the responsibility of creating a sexual harassment-free work environment for their employees. As an employee in New York State, you are entitled to a work environment that is free from sexual harassment.
Sexual Harassment Categories
Sexual harassment falls into three categories; unwanted sexual contact, a hostile work environment, and quid pro quo.
Unwanted sexual contact – any unwelcome physical contact, such as brushing up against you, hugs, and similar instances of physical touching is considered unwanted sexual contact.
Hostile work environment – sexually explicit comments, sexual images, and offensive remarks or statements about sex creates a hostile work environment.
Quid pro quo – if a supervisor requests sexual favors for a raise, job offer, or promotion, is a form of sexual harassment known as quid pro quo.
New York State Sexual Harassment Prevention Policy
New York State requires every employer to have a sexual harassment prevention policy that meets or exceeds the state’s minimum standards. Some of the information a sexual harassment prevention policy must
- Include a complaint form. You will complete this form and submit it to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
- Clearly state the company’s rules and regulations for handling sexual harassment matters, which can include stating sexual harassment is a form of employee misconduct, and all persons and parties involved, including supervisors and other managerial personnel, will be sanctioned at the allowed maximum.
- Include the company’s procedure for conducting a timely, thorough investigation of all complaints that ensures all involved parties receive due process.
- Provide examples of misconduct that is considered unlawful sexual harassment
- Include correct contact information regarding the proper government authorities and available remedies and other resources
Dealing with Harassment in the Workplace
If you’re dealing with sexual harassment in your workplace, you should use all your resources and report the incident immediately. Prolonging the situation can result in unfavorable results, such as a dismissal of your case. In New York State, the statute of limitations for workplace sexual harassment, if the case is sued in supreme court is three years. If it is brought by way of a filing with the state, the statute of limitations may be as short as 180 days up to 300 days. It’s essential to keep notes of everything that happens, including times, dates, and a summary of the type of harassment that occurred.
Have you been sexually harassed in your workplace? No one deserves sexual harassment, and you don’t have to endure this process alone. The professionals here at Harassed are dedicated to helping you receive justice. Our areas of expertise include requests for sex, and sexual advances, bribery, coercion, and sexual intimidation. We provide our services to Buffalo, Albany, Rochester, Syracuse, and Manhattan, New York. Contact one of our sexual harassment lawyers today to request a free case review.