Sexual abuse in the workplace is a pervasive issue that impacts numerous employees, especially women. Regrettably, many survivors of sexual abuse find themselves unable to seek compensation from their abusers or employers due to the statute of limitations expiring. Fortunately, there is a new law in New York, the Adult Survivors Act (ASA), that gives adult survivors of sexual abuse a chance to pursue their claims, even if they initially missed the statute of limitations. Enacted in May 2022 and effective from November 24, 2022, the ASA provides victims with a shot at getting the justice they deserve. If you are a victim of sexual abuse in the workplace, contact a skilled, compassionate New York Adult Survivors Act lawyer from Bell Law Group today. We are on your side.
What is the Adult Survivors Act?
The Adult Survivors Act is a New York State law that creates a one-time, one-year lookback window for adult survivors of sexual abuse to initiate civil lawsuits against their abusers, irrespective of when the abuse occurred. The law also allows survivors to sue institutions or employers that enabled or ignored the abuse.
The ASA applies to any sexual offense that occurred when the survivor was over the age of 18, such as sexual assault, non-consensual sexual contact, sexual harassment, or otherwise. Importantly, the ASA covers both physical and psychological harm caused by the abuse.
Filing a Claim Under the ASA
The statute of limitations for sexual abuse claims in New York varies depending on the type and severity of the offense but generally ranges from one to six years from the date of the abuse or the date when the survivor realized or should have realized that they were harmed by the abuse. That said, many sexual abuse survivors may not be able to file a lawsuit within this time frame, due to various reasons, including the following:
- Fear of retaliation or stigma from their abusers, employers, or others
- Feelings of shame, guilt, or denial regarding the incident(s)
- Challenges in finding or affording a legal representation
- Trauma-related symptoms of the abuse, such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, or substance abuse
The ASA gives sexual abuse/harassment survivors a chance to overcome these barriers and pursue their claims during the one-year lookback window, which commenced on November 24, 2022, and will conclude on November 24, 2023. During this window, survivors can sue their abusers or employers for a variety of damages, including pain and suffering, lost wages, medical bills, and emotional distress, among others.
If you are an employee who suffered sexual abuse in the workplace and want to take advantage of the Adult Survivors Act, you should consult with an experienced New York employee rights lawyer as soon as possible. Bell Law Group can help you determine whether you may have a valid claim under the ASA, gather evidence, file your lawsuit, and fight for the outcome you need.
Contact Bell Law Group Today
At Bell Law Group, we are deeply committed to advocating for employees who have suffered from sexual abuse in the workplace. Contact an Adult Survivors Act lawyer from our firm today so we can get started fighting for you.