What Constitutes Workplace Harassment?

hostile work environment

Whether you work in an office space, remotely in your home, or otherwise, you may be harassed by your employer, manager, or coworkers. No matter to what degree, this behavior is unacceptable and you should not be subjected to it. Read on to discover what constitutes workplace harassment and how a seasoned New York sexual harassment lawyer at Bell Law Group can assist you in bringing your claim forward.

What constitutes workplace harassment in New York State?

By definition, workplace harassment is a pattern of incidents in which an employee is subject to unwelcome conduct by their employer, manager, or coworker(s) based on their protected class (i.e., race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, pregnancy status, marital status, disability, genetic information, etc). Of note, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and New York State Human Rights Law prohibits such conduct. Examples of conduct that constitutes workplace harassment are as follows:

  • An employer says racial or ethnic slurs toward you.
  • An employer makes offensive jokes regarding your sex.
  • A manager unfairly stereotypes you for having limited skills in a certain area due to your age.
  • A manager excludes you from social activities, projects, or meetings due to your sexual orientation.
  • A coworker shows an intolerance toward your religious practices or religious garments.
  • A coworker teases you for using disability services (i.e., sick leave or workers’ compensation).

Then, there is also what is known as sexual harassment. This is considered a form of sexual discrimination, which has similarly been outlawed in the workplace since 1964. Examples are as follows:

  • An employer makes sexualized remarks about your appearance.
  • A manager makes unwanted advances or touches on you.
  • A coworker hangs sexually provocative graffiti, cartoons, or pictures in their workspace.

How do I bring a harassment claim forward?

If the harassment placed against you is fairly obvious, and there are no signs of it seizing, then you must take it upon yourself to put a stop to it. This may start by filing a workplace harassment complaint with your company’s Human Resources department.

But if nothing materializes from your complaint, or if you are now being retaliated against for speaking out, then you must consider taking legal action. This may be initiated by filing a workplace harassment complaint with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). You may then take a copy of your EEOC complaint, along with your Human Resources complaint and other evidence, and use it in your lawsuit against your negligent employer.

Ultimately, this may be the only way in which justice will be served. So when it comes to your harassment claim, you need to have a competent New York employee rights lawyer by your side. This is why you must contact Bell Law Group as soon as possible.

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