Sexual Harassment Lawyer In New York City

As a worker in New York City, you have a right to a safe workplace, free of sexual harassment. Nearly 15,000 sexual harassment suits are filed in New York City yearly, but many victims do not take legal action. Know your rights, and fight back with D’Agostino & Associates. New York City is one of the most pro-employee, anti-harassment districts in the country. However, many of these laws have a statute of limitations; or a time limit wherein you can enact upon them legally. Don’t let time run out. Bite back, with D’Agostino & Associates.
Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This is a federal law that protects employees from discrimination based on race, sex, gender, color, creed, or national origin. Generally, this applies to employers with 15 or more employees; including federal, state, and local governments.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reviews all complaints of sexual harassment and investigates each case. Sexual harassment is unlawful and can occur in places of employment, housing, educational institutions, and public places. Commonly, harassers in the workplace can be supervisors, co-workers, agents of the employer, and non-employees. Work-related sexual harassment does not have to take place in the workplace.
The EEOC defines sexual harassment as “Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when submission to or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.”

Recognizing Unlawful Behaviors

What constitutes sexual harassment can range from sexually explicit conversations to physical assault. Inappropriate touching, sexist jokes, or sexual advances may all constitute sexual harassment. It also does not have to occur within the confines of the workplace. It can also occur outside of work, on a business trip, at an office party, etc. Harassment can occur between co-workers, or between management and employees. Additionally, it can also occur at any stage of employment. This includes during the hiring process when being considered for promotions, or any other time while you are an employee.

Sexual harassment can occur regardless of the gender expression of the individuals. Your gender expression, or that of the harasser(s) should not affect the validity of your claim.

Some examples of sexual harassment may include:

  • Sexist phrasing or conduct
  • Sexual innuendos
  • Sexual advances, including requests for dates or drinks
  • Sexual jokes
  • Criminal sexual conduct
  • Unwanted/unlawful touching
  • Requests for sex or sexual favors
  • Sexual bribery or coercion
  • Sexual gift-giving
  • Threats of firing or being demoted for rejecting sexual advances
  • Online sexual harassment

The Laws Protect You

Thankfully, several federal, state, and local laws protect your rights in the event of harassment or assault. You must know that the law protects you. New York City’s local laws regarding sexual harassment are among the most comprehensive in the country, to better serve and protect victims. Sexual harassment, as well as working in a sexually hostile environment, are types of sex discrimination. These violate the laws of New York State and City that are in place to protect your right to a safe and secure work environment. Additionally, it is illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee for filing a complaint, or for pursuing their rights to a safe workplace.

Sexual harassment in the workplaceJob Performance

Unfortunately, sexual harassment can affect job performance. Many people experience lost wages and lower job performance when they are victimized in this way. Some people may even use sick days or vacation days to escape sexually hostile work environments. If you are experiencing situations such as this, you should speak with your attorney immediately.
Being violated in the workplace is never OK. With the help of your lawyer, you may be able to obtain full money damages, emotional distress, compensation for lost wages, and more. Contact D’Agostino and Associates to begin taking legal action to protect your rights.

The Two Types of Sexual Harassment Claims

According to the EEOC, there are two different kinds of sexual harassment claims. Firstly, there are “Quid Pro Quo” claims. Secondly, there are “Hostile Work Environment” claims.

Quid Pro Quo

Quid Pro Quo is Latin for “This For That.” This form of sexual harassment is when the abuser leverages work-related consequences against their lewd advances. Power from an employer or supervisor can make the victim feel powerless in these situations. This may come in the form of raises, promotions, etc. Additionally, a perpetrator might leverage protections against firings or other unfavorable consequences, as well. Your rights are under the protection of the law. If you feel that you have been exposed to Quid Pro Quo treatment in the workplace, contact an attorney immediately.

Hostile Work Environment

This type of sexual harassment occurs when the victim is the subject of unwelcome behaviors, such as inappropriate comments or actions of a sexual nature. These behaviors can create an unpleasant, offensive, and/or intimidating environment to conduct business. Offensive comments, inappropriate emails, innuendos, suggestive gestures, inappropriate jokes, lewd images, and unwanted physical touching are some actions that can make a work environment feel unsafe. If you feel that you are a victim of sexual harassment in the form of a Hostile Work Environment, contact an attorney immediately.

Different Kinds of Workplace Sexual Harassment

While the above section details the types of claims, there are still further classifications of sexual harassment. Everyone processes an event or incident differently. But, if you feel like you were sexually harassed; then your rights have been violated. If so, you need to consult with your attorney. While there is a wide array of classifications of harassment claims, the sections below highlight some of the most common. Your attorney will help you classify your case best.

LGBTQ Sexual Harassment

The LGBTQ community faces a lot of sexual harassment in the workplace. People with non-heteronormative preferences and/or identities are often the target of bullying and harassment in the workplace. Because of this, members of the LGBTQ community suffer from higher rates of victimization. Regardless of your sexual preferences or gender identity, you have a right to have a safe working environment.

Off-Site Sexual Harassment

Company parties, picnics, and business trips are a good chance to bond with co-workers. Unfortunately, you can be sexually harassed during these events. Casual settings and alcohol consumption can create situations where harassment can be more common. Employers can still be liable for sexual harassment off-site or after-hours.


Stalking is a felony if it goes far enough. Being stalked in or out of the workplace can be scary. You must speak up about your stalker before your physical safety is in question. Understandably, stalking victims are afraid to speak out, fearing that their stalker will retaliate. But, it is better to speak out about a stalker before things get physically dangerous.

Sexual Joking

Offensive comments and lewd conversations are inappropriate for the workplace and can create an uncomfortable work environment. Furthermore, inappropriate sexual joking can be very demeaning and intimidating. Being the target of sexual teasing or joking is a serious matter. In New York City, you have a right to a safe workplace. Verbal, written, or drawn; lewd jokes can be harassment. Once the behavior is unwelcome; and/or the victim has expressed that they would like the conduct to stop, it is harassment. “Unwelcome” does not necessarily mean “non-consensual.” Some people who feel victimized by sexual joking may participate if only to feel like a “team player.”

Unwanted Physical Contact

When your personal space is violated, and you are touched or abused without your consent; you are a victim of sexual harassment. Unwanted physical contact can be one of the most traumatic forms of sexual harassment. This can range from unwelcome shoulder touching to outright sexual assault. Following the event, you should promptly report the abuse to your supervisor, the Human Resources department, and/or the authorities. Additionally, you should contact your lawyer immediately.

Sexual Coercion

Sexual coercion refers to the manipulation or persuasion of a victim into engaging in sexual behavior; usually against their will. Perpetrators often use coercion to force or trick victims into sexual acts; as they can leverage power over them.

Online Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment can occur online among co-workers. Inappropriate emails, texts, social media posts, sexting, and online comments can be avenues of inappropriate behaviors. Workplace harassment can occur online. A coworker, client, or supervisor can create a hostile work environment through sexually-focused online interactions. Unfortunately, harassment, discrimination, and bullying can all occur online between workers. Despite not wanting to see them, you should not delete these messages, as they can help build your case with your attorney.

Contact Our Experienced Legal Team

All employees deserve to work in a safe, comfortable work environment. You have a right to work free of sexual harassment and misconduct, or retaliation because of denied sexual advances. When those rights are infringed upon, you need someone who can help you fight back. If you have been sexually harassed in the workplace, contact the law offices of D’Agostino and Associates for a free consultation. D’Agostino & Associates P.C. has offices in New York and New Jersey. Contact us at 1-888-245-2924 to make an appointment.