Workplace sexual harassment is a pervasive problem in New York and around the country. Employers may handle sexual harassment incorrectly, and if they do, the employee may be able to hold the employer responsible for the resulting damages.
Sexual harassment exists throughout all levels of employment, but workers are reluctant to bring attention to the situation. In New York and across the nation, victims are choosing to remain silent instead of risking job loss. An executive with the National Women's Law Center education and employment reported this information to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
A New York home improvement store owner in Queens may be required to pay $27,000 for sending sexually harassing text messages to a woman who was briefly employed to work for him. The damages include $17,020 in back wages and $10,000 for her mental anguish.
Sexual harassment is not limited to actions that occur face-to-face. Any material that is posted about an individual online or sent to an individual online could also constitute harassment. Materials that are downloaded or printed from a website and showed or sent to others can be a form of indirect online sexual harassment. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has also ruled that offensive email messages can be construed as harassment.
Employees in New York and around the country are protected by federal laws that prohibit workplace discrimination. The prohibitions against such discrimination derive from the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a sweeping piece of legislation that forbids discrimination against workers on certain grounds, one of which is gender. One type of workplace discrimination is sexual harassment.
An individual who wants to work may face stress in an environment that is laden with unwelcome comments or behavior. A hostile work environment can prevent you from doing your job correctly, and knowing how to obtain relief in such a situation may be difficult. You may worry that reporting a problem will affect your terms of employment or result in your termination, or you might feel as if there is no way to correct a problem because the offensive behavior is coming from a superior. However, legal advice may be important as you consider what to do.
When an employer sexually harasses a worker in New York, the employer is considered to be in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Two different kinds of workplace sexual harassment are listed under Title VII. The first kind of sexual harassment is quid pro quo, and the second kind is hostile work environment.
New York restaurant workers may be interested in statistics that indicate a high level of sexual harassment claims by women who depend on tips. The problem is especially significant for those who live in states with lower minimum wages are allowed because of the offset of tips. While non-tipped employees are entitled to a federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, a lower federal minimum of $2.13 applies to tipped workers in states without a law requiring higher pay.
Workplaces in New York must comply with state laws on the prevention of and responses to sexual harassment of employees by coworkers, managers and clients. However, employers and employees alike may find cause to question the point at which sexual innuendo or other activities end up constituting prohibited sexual harassment. Failure to understand this infringement of worker rights and promote an understanding with all workers can be damaging.
A former employee at Yahoo has recently accused her supervisor of forcing her to engage in oral and digital sex acts. The suit also alleges that the f supervisor told the employee that she could take away her job, her stock options and her future career prospects if she failed to comply with her requests.