Federal laws protect workers in New York from sexual harassment, but state laws are also in place to help prevent it in the workplace.
It is important that workers understand the different ways sexual harassment can occur and what to do when they face such harassment on the job.
What are examples of sexual harassment in the workplace?
The following are basic definitions of what constitutes sexual harassment in the state of New York:
- Making a promotion or opportunity contingent on receiving sexual favors
- Displaying pornographic graffiti, cartoons or images in any public way in the office
- Demoting or retaliating against someone who has refused a sexual advance
- Touching someone inappropriately or offering unwelcome advances
- Making sexual or lewd comments about someone’s appearances
- Offering derogatory comments or sexist remarks based on a person’s gender
Most cases of sexual harassment that people filed were discrimination complaints where an employer passed up an employee for a promotion or did not hire a candidate because the person with power made an unreturned sexual advance.
What should workers know about reporting sexual harassment?
According to City Limits, many people do not report sexual harassment in the workplace. People who face this type of harassment sometimes feel shame, humiliation and guilt, or they may fear retaliation for reporting an incident. While retaliation against someone who files a complaint is against the law, that does not mean that it does not happen.
A person who experiences sexual harassment at work or retaliation for reporting such harassment can seek monetary relief. At the same time, complaints help correct behavior and foster workplaces and cultures that are safe for everyone.