New York Lawyer's Legal Updates

How Can I Win A Sexual Harassment Case

Author: Employment discrimination attorney Alena Shautsova

Sexual harassment at work is prohibited. Very often, however, female employees are afraid to go forward with the claims and complaints against their employer because they are afraid to lose their jobs, afraid that the employer will make a “bad name” for them and they will have hard time finding new jobs, and, finally, they are afraid to lose their families. A skilled Employment Discrimination attorney can help to overcome these fears and make sure that the employer provides fair compensation and will abstain from retaliation.

Gender discrimination can take two forms: disparate treatment and hostile work environment. Quid pro quo harassment takes place when an employer explicitly conditions a promotion/demotion/benefits/discipline on submission to sexual demands. A more common form of harassment is a hostile work environment: unwelcomed behavior on behalf of the mangers and co-workers (if the management does not react to complaints about co-workers behavior) that severe enough to interfere with employee’s performance. It can be offensive jokes, comments, touching, “jokes” in the form of offensive posters in common areas, yelling, intimidating, hitting; and also disparate treatment in the form of: failure to promote, demotion, failure to follow employer’s protocols regarding distribution of benefits, customers, ability to make commission, etc.

Quite often, if an employer discriminated against a person, it will also retaliate against that person if the person opposes the discrimination. Retaliation takes place when an employer undertakes an adverse employment action against an employee after an employee complains. The proximity between the adverse employment action and a complaint are taken into consideration to determine if the adverse action was in fact committed with retaliatory motive. For example, the courts held the following:

[A] plaintiff can indirectly establish a causal connection to support a discrimination or retaliation claim by showing that the protected activity was closely followed in time by the adverse employment action." Gorzynski v. JetBlue Airways Corp., 596 F.3d 93, 110-11 (2d Cir. 2010) (quoting Gorman-Bakos v. Cornell Coop. Extension of Schenectady Cnty., 252 F.3d 545, 554 (2d Cir. 2001)); see also Feingold, 366 F.3d at 156 ("[T]he requirement that [Plaintiff] show a causal connection between his complaints and his termination is satisfied by the temporal proximity between the two."); Treglia, 313 F.3d at 720 ("We have held that a close temporal relationship between a plaintiff's participation in protected activity and an employer's adverse actions can be sufficient to establish causation.").

If you are experiencing discrimination, you need a skilled lawyer to help you navigate the ever- changing and complex aspects of discrimination law. Find out how a New York Employment lawyer experienced in handling discrimination cases can help. Call today 917-885-2261.

26 November 2012
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