Sexual Harassment Attorney – New York

Sexual harassment or having to work in a sexually hostile environment are types of sex discrimination that violate federal, New York State and New York City law. Sexual harassment can include demands for sex as a condition of employment. It can also include unwelcome advances, requests for sexual favors, and verbal or physical conduct that affects a person’s ability to do their job properly because it is so offensive, intimidating, or abusive.

Sexual harassment includes the following unwelcome conduct, among others:

  • Requests for sexual favors;
  • Inappropriate physical contact, including touching, kissing, hugging, standing too close or intentionally brushing up against a person;
  • Sexually explicit or suggestive comments, jokes, teasing, or innuendo;
  • Commentary or questions about the victim’s sex life, body, or clothing;
  • Displaying, posting, or circulating in the workplace emails, pictures, cartoons, or other written or graphic material of a sexually explicit, demeaning, or obscene nature;
  • Verbal abuse or derogatory comments of a sexual or gender-specific nature; or
  • Staring, leering, whistling, or obscene gestures.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a federal law prohibiting sex discrimination and sexual harassment. Title VII applies to employers with at least fifteen employees, including employment agencies, labor organizations, and federal, state, and local governments.

The New York State and New York City Human Rights Laws also prohibit gender discrimination and sexual harassment. These laws cover employers with as little as four employees, and they prohibit harassment based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

If you believe you are a victim of workplace sexual harassment or a hostile work environment, call a sexual harassment lawyer at (212) 868-6300 today for a free consultation.


When an employer makes an employee submit to sex, Quid Pro Quo sexual harassment exists. When sexual advances or demands become a condition of continuing employment or for making decisions affecting the employee, Quid Pro Quo – which means “this for that” in Latin, sexual harassment exists. For example, if a superior demands or implies that you give him sex in return for a promotion, or threatens demotion or discharge if you do not perform sexual favors, he is committing quid pro quo sexual harassment.


Hostile work environment sexual harassment exists when an employee suffers unwelcome attention or sexual advances or other misconduct that is so offensive, intimidating, or abusive that it interferes with the employee’s ability to perform their work or creates an intimidating, hostile, or abusive environment.


Simple teasing, offhand comments, or minor, isolated incidents of inappropriate behavior may not by themselves rise to the level of illegal sexual harassment. But, a pattern of such incidents may be unlawful if it creates an environment that unreasonably interferes with an employee’s performance, or causes the employee’s dismissal or demotion.

Sexual harassment does not need to be sexual to be unlawful for it includes offensive remarks about an individual’s gender. For example, women may be unlawfully sexual harassed by repeatedly making offensive comments about women in general.

Everyone can be victims of sexual harassment committed by a person of the opposite or same sex. A supervisor, co-worker or a non-employee, such as a client or a customer, can commit unlawful sexual harassment.
The victim of sexual harassment does not have to be the person harassed, but could include anyone affected by the offensive conduct.

It is illegal to discharge, suspend, demote or otherwise retaliate against an employee for complaining about discrimination or pursuing his or her rights under the law.


If you are being sexually harassed at work or have a hostile work environment, or are suffering discrimination because of your gender, do not quit your job. Call a sexual harassment attorney at (212) 868-6300 for a free consultation.

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