New York workers have the right to a workplace that is free from discriminatory and harassing treatment. You do not have to endure unfair, inappropriate or illegal treatment in your workplace, especially sexual harassment. If you are a victim of this type of behavior, you have the right to fight back.
There is no place for harassment of a sexual nature in your place of work. Victims often feel ashamed or overwhelmed by what they experienced, but you do not have to face it alone. You can speak up for yourself and take action to hold other parties accountable for their inappropriate behavior.
How do I know if I am a victim?
There are times that a person who is a victim of sexual harassment does not know that he or she is a victim. You may feel unsure if what you are experiencing counts as a harassment, but it can be helpful to seek an understanding of your rights and options. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, you may be the victim of workplace sexual harassment if you experienced the following:
- The treatment you experienced was offensive, unwanted and unwelcome.
- This inappropriate treatment came from a co-worker, supervisor, employer, manager or someone associated with your job.
- Harassment can still happen even when there are no economic damages suffered by the victim.
You may be uncertain you want to speak out because you feel overwhelmed by your situation and unsure of how to proceed. You might not feel sure you have a case, or you might not want to risk further mistreatment or retaliation, but you do not have to walk through this situation alone.
Employers are responsible for their own behavior, inappropriate behavior from employees in the workplace and the allowance of a hostile work environment. You could have grounds for a legal claim and to seek financial compensation from the appropriate parties.
Fighting for your interests as a harassment victim
There is no excuse for sexual harassment in the workplace. You can stand up for yourself, starting by securing legal guidance as soon as possible. This will provide you with an explanation of your legal options and your rights.
Sexual harassment does not always come from a member of the opposite sex. It can come in many forms, and if you are unsure if what you experienced counts as harassment, you have the right to seek help. Sexual harassment can be harmful emotionally, mentally, physically and in other ways. You can fight to make it stop and protect your interests.