Sexual harassment occurs in numerous workplaces all over the nation. Many local governments have responded to these occurrences by developing their own rules and regulations, which ensure employers take the proper steps to protect their employees.
According to NYC.gov, the NYC Commission on Human Rights developed a law to protect people from a number of societal ills, including workplace harassment. Here are a few of the facts regarding the law, so workers can rest assured they know their rights.
How does the law define sexual harassment?
According to the language of the law, unwanted behavior, including verbal and physical behaviors, based on a person’s gender constitutes sexual harassment. Examples include touching, making inappropriate, sexually charged comments, and displaying images of a sexual nature where other people can see them.
In addition to unwanted behaviors, supervisors and managers at a workplace can use the promise of a job or promotion to elicit sexual favors from another person. They can also retaliate against a person who rebuffs their advances. For example, they can demote or fire a person, even though their work output was sufficient.
What punishments can occur?
There are numerous civil penalties associated with sexual harassment in the workplace and other places. Victims of harassment can seek civil damages up to $250,000. The victim can also seek remuneration for any emotional distress that resulted from the incident. The person responsible for the harassing behavior may require professional counseling or training, or receive a mandate to perform community service.
How should you report sexual harassment?
Inform higher-ups at your place of work immediately. You can also file a report with your work’s human resource department when applicable. The NYC Commission on Human Rights also accepts reports.
Not only victims of harassment can report it. If you have witnessed harassment at your place of work, you are free to report it as well using the above channels.