New York City Workplace Harassment Lawyer
Helping Employees Enjoy a Work-Life Free of Hostility, Threats and Intimidation
For employees who belong to a minority or traditionally underrepresented group in the workplace, going to work every day can mean facing the daily dread of being harassed by supervisors or co-workers simply because of the color of their skin, the country where they came from, their religious beliefs, their age, gender or other characteristics that make up a central part of who they are as a person.
Nobody should have to endure this treatment in exchange for employment. The NYC workplace harassment lawyers at Mansell Law dedicate their careers to ending harassment in the workplace by advocating for employees harmed by harassment, holding employers liable for their misconduct and mistakes, and forcing companies to change the way they manage employee relations. If you’ve been the victim of workplace harassment in New York City, Mansell Law is here for you.
When Is Harassment Illegal?
Unlawful harassment is a type of discriminatory conduct prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other federal and state authorities. Unwelcome verbal or physical actions based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age (40 and over), disability (mental or physical), or retaliation constitutes harassment when:
- The conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive to create a hostile work environment; or
- A supervisor’s harassing conduct results in a tangible change in an employee’s employment status or benefits (for example, demotion, termination, failure to promote, etc.)
In addition to the federal Title VII law, New Yorkers also have the benefit of the New York State Human Rights Law. As of February 8, 2020, employers of all sizes are covered (previously, employers had to have four or more employees to be covered by the law’s provisions on sexual harassment). Not only does the New York law protect people in more categories than U.S. civil rights law, but New York additionally does not require that the conduct be “severe or pervasive” to constitute unlawful harassment. Although the conduct must still rise above “petty slights and trivial inconveniences,” it is theoretically much easier to bring a claim of harassment successfully in New York than other places in the country.
Can Co-Workers Be Guilty of Harassment?
Harassment often comes from co-workers in the form of jokes, taunts, abusive comments and bullying behavior. When the harassment is committed by a managerial employee on a subordinate, the company itself is liable for the harm. When it is lower-level employees doing the harassing, holding the company accountable typically requires proving that management was aware of the conduct yet did not take steps to investigate and stop the harassment. The best way to put the company on notice is to report the harassment through the company’s complaint procedure, assuming they have one. Even if you didn’t use the company’s complaint procedure, however, you can still pursue a harassment claim against your employer in New York.
Sexual Harassment can, but need not, be of a sexual nature and includes same-gender harassment and harassment based on gender identity or sexual orientation. So long as the conduct is unwelcome and based on the victim’s sex, the conduct could rise to the level of sexual harassment.
Traditionally, sexual harassment was classified into one of two categories: quid pro quo or hostile work environment. Quid pro quo harassment means that a supervisor has promised favorable job treatment (promotion, raise, plum assignment) or threatened adverse consequences (termination, demotion, transfer, reassignment) based on the employee’s acceptance of the supervisor’s sexual advances. Hostile work environment historically means that unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature is so severe or pervasive that it makes the work environment a threatening or intimidating place to be for the victim. As noted earlier, hostile environment harassment does not necessarily need to be “severe or pervasive” in New York and does not have to be of a sexual nature, so long as it is based on the person’s sex.
Our New York Employment Lawyers Fight Workplace Harassment Everyday
If you’ve been the victim of harassment at work, Mansell Law can help you file a charge with the EEOC or New York Human Rights Commission. We’ll also represent you in a lawsuit against your employer so you can recover money damages for the harm done to you and get back any job benefit, privilege or condition of employment that was taken from you.
For help with a workplace harassment claim in New York City, call Mansell Law at 646-921-8900 for a free consultation with an experienced New York employment lawyer committed to protecting worker rights and ensuring employees can do their job with dignity, free from unlawful harassment.