Where Can Sexual Harassment Occur?

A man touching a female coworker's shoulder inappropriately

We have recently seen another high-profile case in the media involving alleged sexual harassment in the workplace. This time, Fox News is making its own news headlines involving sexual harassment claims. A former female news anchor and other women are saying top news chief, Roger Ailes, allegedly made improper comments and sexual advances towards them while they worked at the cable news network.

Where Does Sexual Harassment Occur?

Sexual harassment is a horrible thing and can happen at a large news organization, as well as a small mom-and-pop company. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Sexual harassment can involve uninvited sexual advances or touching, asking for sexual favors, and sexually suggestive spoken, obscene gestures, sexual comments, or physical conduct. Often the reaction to the harassment will impact an employee’s position or employment in the company. It can create an intimidating or offensive workplace atmosphere. Sexual harassment in the workplace is illegal, and you should speak with an NYC employment attorney immediately if you are experiencing it.

What Types of Sexual Harassment Can Occur in a Workplace?

Quid Pro Quo is sexual harassment that happens when a superior or authority figure requests sexual favors or a sexual relationship in exchange for not terminating an employee. It can also take the form of an exchange for benefits, such as increased pay or a promotion within the company. Sometimes sexual harassment can create a hostile environment for the victim. He or she has to deal with sexual comments, jokes, graphic pictures, and other offensive material in the workplace. When any form of sexual harassment happens, it is wrong and illegal. You should seek the advice of a qualified employment attorney and learn your rights.

What is an Example of Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment?

Georgia has been working as an Executive Assistant for five years and enjoyed her job until she experienced an inappropriate conversation with her boss. The CEO of the company asked her to accompany him to his family beach house on the weekend while his wife is away. He said he always wanted to see Georgia in a bathing suit. He complimented her on her good looks and said she would look great in a bikini. If she accepted his offer, he would give her a hefty raise and promotion. If she refused, she should seek new employment. His comments made Georgia very uncomfortable and uncertain about her future. She felt intimidated, humiliated, and disrespected. What can Georgia do? Georgia has several legal rights and options.

Many people find themselves in inappropriate office dilemmas, such as Georgia in the fictional story. Her case is an example of sexual harassment. Unfortunately, it a real situation and a problem for many employees in the workplace today. It can happen to women and men. According to a Cosmopolitan survey of 2,235 female employees, one in three women has experienced some form of sexual harassment in the workplace.

Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. All types of sexual harassment can occur from a boss or coworker. Sexual harassment in the workplace is often made as a condition of an individual’s employment. The conduct creates an intimidating or offensive environment for the victim. The acceptance or refusal of such conduct may affect an individual’s employment and advancement with the company.

Federal and New York Laws Protect Victims From Sexual Harassment

According to U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This is a federal law that prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, and religion. If you believe you are a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, you can file a charge of employment discrimination with the EEOC.

New York State’s Human Rights Law and the New York City Human Rights Law also prohibit sexual harassment in the workplace. Recently, the New York State Assembly passed the Women’s Equity Act, which prohibits sexual harassment in all workplaces regardless of the number of employees. Prior to this law, only workplaces with four or more employees were protected. According to the NYS Division of Human Rights over 60% of New York State employers employ less than four employees. Under this new law, all workers are now protected in New York.

Sexual harassment happens in many different industries and professions, from farmworkers to the theatre. Broadway actors in New York are lobbying for better ways to address sexual harassment and misconduct behind the stage.

Who Can Be a Victim of Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment can happen to both women and men. Sometimes, men can be harassed by women. However, it is more common for women to be harassed by men in the workplace. Sexual harassment can happen between individuals of the same sex. Sexual harassment can take place outside of an office setting. It has occurred in schools, colleges, universities, or other institutions of higher education. There have been cases of school administrators, teachers, and professors harassing students with inappropriate behavior and misconduct in an educational environment. A harasser is not always a boss, supervisor, or authority figure, either. The face of a harasser can be a co-worker, boss, customer, or client in the workplace.

Many times companies will try to defend themselves in sexual harassment cases by arguing that the firm implemented the proper steps to correct the problem. Some companies try to prove they are not liable if the victim did not take the appropriate measures to report or expose incidents of sexual misconduct and harassment in the workplace. Courts will decide if the employer knew or should have been aware of the inappropriate behavior and did not take action to correct it.

Factors that may impact your sexual harassment case may include:

  • The type of behavior the alleged perpetrator conducted
  • How often the inappropriate behavior took place
  • Impact and severity of the inappropriate behavior or misconduct
  • The type of business or industry of the employer
  • How the victim reacted to the misconduct
  • The number of employees at the company

Contact a NYC Sexual Harassment Attorney Today

If you have been a victim of sexual harassment and your employment rights have been violated, you may be entitled to legal damages and compensation. Please contact the Law Offices of Joseph & Norinsberg. Their lawyers will provide an honest assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of your case. If your case merits going to court, the sexual harassment attorneys at the Law Offices of Joseph & Norinsberg will work diligently to help you find the justice you deserve. Contact the Law Offices of Joseph & Norinsberg at (212) JUSTICE or at for a free initial consultation.

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