Experiencing sexual harassment at work can be incredibly demoralizing and stressful. The current news cycle discusses many prominent political and entertainment figures who have sexually harassed women and men. With all of the anti-sexual harassment momentum, however, many people still suffer sexual harassment in the workplace. Unfortunately, many workers who report sexual harassment see no benefit after doing so.
In some cases, people who report sexual harassment experience a backlash of negative consequences against them. The experienced employment lawyers at Pulvers Thompson have successfully represented many clients who have experienced sexual harassment in the greater New York City area. If you have experienced sexual harassment, contact our law firm today to schedule a free initial consultation.
Almost All Sexual Harassment Goes Unreported
The Conversation analyzed all sexual harassment claims filed with the Fair Employment Practicers Agencies and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission between (EEOC) 2012 and 2016. Based on available national survey data, they estimated that every year, 5 million employees experience sexual harassment at work. However, only approximately 9,200 people file a claim with the Fair Employment Practices Agencies or the EEOC.
Many Employees Who Report Sexual Harassment do Not Experience Redress
Fox News recently paid Gretchen Carlson $20 million to settle her sexual harassment lawsuit against Roger Ailes, former Fox News CEO. In rare cases, the sexual harassment victim receives a substantial payment. Sexual harassment victims who receive large payouts are in the extreme minority, however. Only 1% of employees who filed sexual harassment charges received monetary compensation in an amount exceeding $100,000.
Unfortunately, only 1,800 employees who filed a sexual harassment charges in the time period studied received any redress. The types of remedy received by some employees include the following:
- 73% of employees who reported sexual harassment at their workplace received zero benefits or redress
- 15% of those who reported sexual harassment only received a monetary benefit
- 8% received a workplace benefit and a financial benefit
- 4% only received a workplace change
Many Who Reported Sexual Harassment Experienced Retaliation From Employers
One of the main deterrents for filing sexual harassment claims is employer retaliation. More often than not, employers retaliate against employees who file sexual harassment charges. Sexual harassment victims are often afraid of losing their job, being denied a promotion, or experiencing a hostile work environment. 68% of employees who filed sexual harassment claims stated that their employer retaliated against them. Over two-thirds of employees who filed sexual harassment claims lost their jobs as a result.
The Majority of Sexual Harassment Claims are Plausibly Legally Actionable
According to the EEOC, 88% of sexual harassment claims filed with them are at least plausibly legally actional. Administrative reasons prohibit many of the claims that are not lawfully actionable from going forward. Despite the increase in public awareness regarding sexual harassment, most employees with legally plausible claims receive no monetary or workplace benefits.
Federal Law and New York State Law Prohibits Sexual Harassment
Under federal law, sexual harassment falls under the category of gender discrimination. When sexual harassment happens, someone is harassing others because of their gender. Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits all forms of gender discrimination, including sexual harassment. In addition to filing a claim with the federal EEOC, New Yorker City dwellers can also file a complaint with the NYS Division of Human Rights, or the NYC Commission on Human Rights.
Sexual harassment includes any pattern of conduct that is intended to humiliate or make the employee feel discomfort in the workplace based on his or her gender. Unwanted sexual attention is also considered to be sexual harassment. Examples of sexual harassment include the following actions:
- Sexually based comments
- Sexually explicit jokes, stories, questions, or statements
- Unnecessary petting, hugging, touching, or brushing against someone’s body
- Remarks of a sexual nature about a person’s body or clothing
- Speculation about someone’s previous sexual history or current sexual activity
When filing a sexual harassment claim, the claim must include a detailed account of all sexual harassment events. The claimant should also state why the actions of the sexual harasser were not welcome. The complaint should list any witnesses to the sexual harassment and their contact information. It should also report any attempts that the employee made to notify the human resources department or managers about the harassment. Finally, it is wise to mention the effects that harassment may have had on the job performance of the employee.
Statute of Limitations for Sexual Harassment Claims
The term statute of limitations refers to the period of time in which a claimant must file their claim. A claimant must file a sexual harassment claim with the state of New York or New York City within three years of the last sexual harassment event of the court will bar the lawsuit. If the claimant is filing an administrative complaint with the City Commission or the State Division, he or she must file the claim within a year of the last sexual harassment event.
If You Have Been the Victim of Sexual Harassment, Our Attorneys can Help
Many employees who file a claim with the EEOC are unlikely to see a workplace or monetary benefit. Unfortunately, many will experience employment termination, retaliation, or both. If you are concerned about employer retaliation and losing your job, the skilled employment attorneys at Pulvers Thompson can help. We have helped many employees recover monetary compensation and desired workplace changes.
Our attorneys are extremely familiar with New York sexual harassment claims. We are also familiar with the tactics many employers use to evade sexual harassment claims or internally retaliate against employees who make the claims. We aggressively advocate on behalf of our clients because we believe that nobody should have to experience sexual harassment in the workplace. Have you experienced sexual harassment in New York City or the surrounding area? If so, time is of the essence. Contact the experienced sexual harassment attorneys at Pulvers Thompson to set up your free initial consultation today.