Actionable workplace harassment

On Behalf of | Jan 20, 2021 | Sexual Harassment At Work

Far too often, New York employees receive harassment at work. Sometimes, harassment can be legally-actionable and entitle a worker to lost wages and damages. However, individuals need to keep some considerations in mind when evaluating if they can pursue claims for harassment at work.

Hostile work environment

A hostile work environment exists when there is a severe or pervasive environment at work due to misconduct concerning a protected class. Such classifications include age, gender and race. If an employee is subject to harassment about such a classification, they should speak to an experienced employment lawyer to preserve their rights.

Rude or trivial conduct

It is important to note that employers will normally not be held legally liable if they simply act rude to their employees. Moreover, if their conduct is trivial, even if it concerns a protected classification, it is possible that the acts will not be legally actionable. There is often a fine line between trivial conduct and workplace harassment. That’s why it is important to speak with an attorney to see if you have a case.

Quid quo pro

Quid pro quo is Latin for “this for that,” and in the employment context, it usually means that an employer makes romantic advances on a worker and conditions promotions based on whether he or she reciprocates those advances. Such conduct is not allowed, and if employees feel pressured to be romantically involved with managers in order to advance their careers, it is possible that they will have a case against their employer.

Protected leave

The law often requires that employers give employees time off for various reasons. This includes dealing with a disability and recovering after the birth of a child. If an employer makes it difficult to take time off for a protected reason or chides an employer for taking time off for a protected reason, they may be legally liable.


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