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Sexual Harrasment

Sexual Harassment Explained by a New York Harassment Attorney

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes 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. Sexual harassment can occur in a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to the following:

  • The victim as well as the harasser may be a woman or a man.
  • The victim does not have to be of the opposite sex.
  • The harasser can be the victim’s
    • supervisor,
    • an agent of the employer,
    • a supervisor in another area,
    • a co-worker,
    • or a non-employee.

The victim does not have to be the person harassed but could be anyone affected by the offensive conduct.

Unlawful sexual harassment may occur without economic injury to or discharge of the victim.

The harasser’s conduct must be unwelcome.

It is helpful for the victim to directly inform the harasser that the conduct is unwelcome and must stop. The victim should use any employer complaint mechanism or grievance system available. When investigating allegations of sexual harassment, EEOC looks at the whole record: the circumstances, such as the nature of the sexual advances, and the context in which the alleged incidents occurred.

A determination on the allegations is made from the facts on a case-by-case basis. Prevention is the best tool to eliminate sexual harassment in the workplace. Employers are encouraged to take steps necessary to prevent sexual harassment from occurring. They should clearly communicate to employees that sexual harassment will not be tolerated. They can do so by establishing an effective complaint or grievance process and taking immediate and appropriate action when an employee complains.


There are two types of sexual harassment:

  • “Quid Pro Quo:”
    • A Latin phrase, involves the loss of some employment related benefit such as a promotion or raise for failure to submit to improper and usually sexually related favors.
      • For example, a supervisor might tell you, “If you don’t go out with me you will not be considered for a promotion or get a raise”.
  • Hostile Work Environment:
    • Involves being subjected to conduct at your workplace including but not limited to unsolicited and unwelcome sexually suggestive innuendos, jokes, comments, materials, teasing or unwanted physical touching. Sexual harassment includes “same sex” participants, i.e. male with male or female with female. If you have been subjected to conduct which you believe constitutes sexual harassment in either of its forms, contact our office by e-mail or phone for a complimentary consultation to discuss your full rights and options.

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Samuelson, Hause & Samuelson, LLP - New York Sexual Harassment Lawyer
Located at 300 Garden City Plaza | Suite 444 | Garden City NY 11530
Phone: (516) 584-4685