New York residents should know that sexual harassment is illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. While most companies will tell employees to speak up about sexual harassment if it happens, such policies are often more about helping a business avoid a costly or damaging lawsuit as opposed to looking out for the interests of the employee. Retaliation for filing a sexual harassment claim is also illegal; however, it may occur in more subtle ways after an employee comes forward.
It is also important to know that there is a legal definition of sexual harassment. If a claim doesn't meet that definition, a company may not be required to follow up or otherwise do anything about the claim. Those who are thinking about filing a lawsuit may also want to make sure that they are willing to be treated differently at work after making that claim.
As a general rule, a case may be stronger if the victim has faced multiple incidents of harassment. A case may also be stronger if an individual believes that he or she would have to leave the company if the harassment didn't stop. While there is no guarantee as to what the outcome of a case may be, a claim may appear more credible if others are willing to confirm that such harassment has taken place.
Workers who are subject to unwanted sexual advances, inappropriate comments or other forms of sexual harassment may wish to speak with an attorney. A lawyer may be able to review the case and help a victim pursue a case against those responsible for the harassment. Individuals may be entitled to compensation or reinstatement if they were wrongfully fired based on making a claim of sexual harassment.