Today, female employees in New York and around the country are legally protected from sexual harassment in the workplace. Past court cases have confirmed that women can file sexual harassment claims against their employers under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Although it is widely known that it is illegal for supervisors to sexually harass their female employees, this was not always the case.
There are federal and state laws in place to protect employees from facing a hostile working environment, but many women in the workforce know that sexual harassment still unfortunately occurs. This is often a women's issue because anywhere from 25 to 80 percent of female employees are harassed at work based on multiple studies and surveys, and the overwhelming majority of them report being sexually harassed by men. While victims often get put in difficult positions when being harassed, there is some information that may help victims in New York and other states.
Anyone who doubts the existence of sexual harassment in the workplace should talk to service industry employees. A high likelihood exists that a woman employed as a restaurant server in New York has experienced unwanted touching, lewd comments or other actions sexual in nature.
It is unfortunate that workplace sexual harassment still occurs in New York and around the country. In addition to sexual harassment, sexual assaults in the workplace are also a shockingly prevalent problem.
New Yorkers who believe their industries or chosen professions are free of unwelcome sexual situations may be interested to learn that the modern workplace isn't as advanced as many think. Although people tend to associate fields like construction and other traditionally male-oriented industries with the worst behavior, experts report that sexual misconduct is also a persistent problem in other professions.
New York employees are protected by law against sexual harassment. Nobody should have their ability to earn a living impeded by the behavior of someone else in the workplace. There are some instances, however, in which individuals have lost their case due to the way they handled their situation.
New York residents may be interested to learn about some proposed federal law changes that could help to prevent sexual harassment by university scientists. In mid-January, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) spoke to the U.S. House of Representatives about an investigation into sexual harassment at the University of Arizona. In her speech, Speier said that university scientists who had been found guilty of sexual harassment were being moved around to different schools.
Many New Yorkers work in restaurants, and as a new study indicates, a majority of them may be subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace. A recent study in which 688 restaurant workers across 39 states were interviewed demonstrates the pervasiveness of the problem.
After a former employee filed a suit for sexual harassment against the CEO of New York Global Group, a federal court decided that Benjamin Wey must pay $18 million to the 25-year-old woman who made the complaint. The Wall Street executive was accused of defamation and retaliation in addition to sexual harassment, and the court ordered that he pay $16 million in punitive damages and $2 million in compensatory damages.
New York residents may be interested to learn that a sexual lawsuit filed in November 2014 against Ford in Chicago was recently expanded, and now includes additional allegations involving dozens of women at another Ford plant in Chicago. The amended civil complaint was filed on May 13 in an Illinois federal court.