SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN THE WORKPLACE

Federal, state, and some city laws, have been enacted to protect employees from sexual harassment in the workplace.  A party that seeks to recover damages for sexual harassment may do so under two theories: (1) quid pro quo, and/or (2) hostile work environment.  In a sexual harassment claim based on quid pro quo theory, a superior has expressly or tacitly linked tangible job benefits to the acceptance or rejection of sexual advances.  To succeed under a theory of hostile work environment, the employer’s conduct must have the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance, or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.

To establish a case for sexual harassment, a plaintiff must prove that (1) they belonged to a protected group, (2) that they were the subject of unwelcome sexual harassment, (3) that the harassment was based on gender, (4) that the harassment affected a term, condition, or privilege of employment, and (5) that the employer knew or should have known of the harassment and failed to take remedial action.  It is important to note that a claim for sexual harassment can be brought by either a male or female.  Further, a claim for sexual harassment can be filed based upon same-sex sexual harassment.

Due to the nuances of the legal system, it is important that you make the right choice in determining the selection of an attorney to handle your litigation matters. Should you have further questions concerning this or other litigation matters, please contact The Siegel Law Firm, P.C.

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