sexual harassment

Deadline For Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training - October 9, 2019

New York requires employers to conduct sexual harassment training for its employees. Do not miss this deadline. We offer flat fee sexual harassment training. Avoid the fines, educate your workforce, and be smart! We have no nonsense transparent pricing - we will conduct a comprehensive, legally compliant training session, and follow up with certificates of completion for your company. We charge a flat fee of $1,000 (plus, if outside of Manhattan, travel costs), nothing more. No hidden fees, no bs. Just legally compliant training and a transparent no-nonsense price.

What If I Don’t Train My Employees By October 9, 2019?

Consider yourself a gambler since you could be subject to a misdemeanor and a $100 per employee penalty for the failure to comply with training.  Depending on the number of employees you have, this can add up quickly.  If you have multiple violations or other types of violations, the cost can go up as high as $500 per employee.  In the most extreme situations, an employer may even be subject to additional fines and imprisonment.[1]

But $100-$500 Per Employee Is Not the Only Cost . . .

If you fail to train your employees regarding sexual harassment, you leave yourself very vulnerable should you be sued for sexual harassment.  By failing to provide sexual harassment training, you make defending such an action much more difficult because you have disregarded an easy part of the law—helping your employees understand what sexual harassment is.  Plus, depending on the applicable law, you may lose certain defenses otherwise available to you. In a worst-case scenario, depending on the insurance you carry, your insurance carrier could challenge coverage to you since you did not comply with the law.  PLUS, all of this precedes whether or not there is actually an underlying violation of the sexual harassment law where damages may include an employee’s lost salary, compensation for emotional distress, punitive damage awards, and attorneys’ fees.

So, What Does This Training Need To Do?

The training must:

  • be interactive

  • include an explanation of sexual harassment consistent with guidance issued by the Department of Labor in consultation with the Division of Human Rights

  • include examples of conduct that would constitute unlawful sexual harassment

  • include information concerning the federal and state statutory provisions concerning sexual harassment and remedies available to victims of sexual harassment

  • include information concerning employees’ rights of redress and all available forums for adjudicating complaints

  • include information addressing conduct by supervisors and any additional responsibilities for such supervisors

How Can I Get Help From Your Firm?

If you would like to discuss your situation with us, please feel free to call or email us at any time. You will be on the phone with an attorney within 24 hours.


[1] See New York Labor Law § 213.

Sexual Harassment Settlements in New York and Privacy

Will Settlement of My Sexual Harassment Law Claim in New York Be A Secret?

The answer is it can be, but only if you want it to be. 

It is very common for employers to want the resolution of a sexual harassment law issue in New York to be kept confidential through a provision in a settlement document called a “non-disclosure agreement,” often abbreviated to “NDA.”  Employers especially like NDAs because it is a way for them to make sure that other employees and the general public are unaware that a sexual harassment claim was made by an employee.  One problem with this type of secrecy is that if the employer chooses to, it can protect a misbehaving boss or supervisor it deems valuable to the employer many times and render another employee a new potential victim.  The 2018 amendments to sexual harassment law in New York added this protection for employees and prohibited the inclusion of an NDA in the sexual harassment context if the employee did not want and agree to it.

What do the 2019 Changes to the Law Do?

The 2019 amendments expand the limitations on an NDA to a wider scope of protected categories, including those alleging harassment based on age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, and gender identity (to name a few).  This means that any employee who enters into a settlement agreement with an employer based on defined unlawful discrimination can choose whether they want to keep the settlement confidential or not. 

Are There Circumstances in Which it may Benefit Me to Keep a Settlement of a Harassment Law Claim in New York Confidential?

Yes, there are such situations.  An employee may prefer to put the incident behind and move on or there may be other personal reasons to prefer to keep the settlement confidential.  If you would like to discuss your situation with us, please feel free to call or email us at any time. You will be on the phone with an attorney within 24 hours.


My Boss Sent Me a Dick Pic. What Should I Do?

A woman telephoned our law firm the other day to ask one of the starkest questions we've ever heard:  “So, my boss texted me a dick pic last night.  What do I do?” 

It's an infuriating fact of life: women who want nothing more than to have a good career and earn a good living confront some ugly behavior by men.  Sometimes that behavior is outright illegal; sometimes it is merely disgusting.  In either case, it can be helpful to have the advice of an employment lawyer.

So, if your boss emails you a picture of a penis, or if he texts you a selfie of himself in underwear, or if sends you a link to porn, what should you do?

First – Save the message.  You don't have to look at it again, just save it somewhere that it can't be deleted.  For example, if he sends you a picture can only be viewed from your work computer, take a picture of it on your personal phone.  The photo may be repulsive, but it is important evidence.  And the first thing you can do to stand up for yourself and protect yourself is preserve that evidence.

Second – Give yourself some time to think.  Do you like your job, and want to stay?  Or would you prefer to negotiate a severance and move on with your career elsewhere?  Do you want your boss to be fired, or do you want to be able to work with him the future, and move on from this stupid incident?   Do you prefer to handle the situation yourself, or do you want someone else to be your adviser and advocate?   

Third – As the saying goes, "First plan your work, then work your plan."  If you want to leave your job and get a severance, you might want to call an employment lawyer.  If you want to stay at your job, but have your boss disciplined, you might want to report the incident internally.  If you want to handle it privately, you may want to message your boss directly. 

But no matter what, you absolutely do not have to take that sort of nonsense from your boss.  If your boss is harassing you with dick pics or naked selfies or porn, you can contact an employment lawyer and fight back.  Call or e-mail us any time.  We are here to help.


What is Sexual Harassment?

What is sexual harassment?

Not all harassment is sexual harassment and not all sexual conduct is sexual harassment.  So then, what is sexual harassment?  Sexual harassment is defined as:

  • Unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when
    • submission to such conduct is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment; or
    • submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting the employee; or
    • such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with the employee's work performance or creating an intimidating, offensive or hostile work environment.
What is sexual harassment
What is sexual harassment

Let's break this definition down a bit.  You will notice that we have underlined some key terms in the definition above.  We explain each of these terms below.

  1. Unwelcome - the conduct must be unwelcome by you.  Thus, if you are a willing participant in the conduct at issue, you cannot then turn around and claim sexual harassment. Keep in mind, though, that the unwelcome conduct does not have to be directed at you.  For example, it could involve employees talking amongst themselves, or someone else being harassed (even if that someone else does not personally object to the conduct).  So long as it impacts your working conditions and it is unwelcome, this definition is met.
    • We see a lot of employers attacking the "unwelcome" aspect of employees' claims on the basis that - whatever the conduct - the employee was a willing participant.  This is really hard on the employee.  A lot of the time, an employee will play along with conduct that they find objectionablejust so that they get along and not make waves.  Also, people are afraid of being ostracized if they complain about conduct.  The best practice may be to contact an employment attorney as soon as you believe that you are being subjected to unwelcome conduct of a sexual (or any other) nature.  A good employment attorney can help guide you through complicated workplace politicking and may help you either end the conduct altogether or wind up in a better place.
  2. Sexual Nature - the conduct must be of a sexual nature.  It is the sexual nature of the conduct that puts the "sexual" into sexual harassment.  If the unwelcome conduct is not of a sexual nature, you may still have a claim (e.g. for hostile work environment based on race, national origin, age, etc.), but you do not have a claim for sexual harassment.
    • There is almost no limit to what the nature of the conduct could be.  The obvious examples are crude words, touching and gestures, but there is no limit to the creative ways that creeps find to harass victims.  The term "conduct" is broadly defined, and there are many cases involving almost every imaginable type of conduct.
  3. Term or Condition of Employment/Basis for Employment Decisions - the conduct has to impact your employment.  This can happen in a number of ways.  The most common is know as "quid pro quo" (meaning "this for that") sexual harassment.  In a typical quid pro quo sexual harassment scenario, the employee must submit to the sexual harassment or else risk being terminated, demoted, marginalized, etc.  However, the sexual harassment does not have to quid pro quo in order to impact the terms and conditions of employment.  Frankly, if the conduct is so bad that a reasonable person would feel uncomfortable in your working environment, the conduct may rise to the level of sexual harassment.
    • Keep in mind that although the conduct must impact your employment, it does not have to occur at your place of employment.  Work outings and holiday parties, for example, are hotbeds for sexual harassment.
  4. Hostile Work Environment - lastly, the conduct has to be really bad.  Bad enough that it creates what is known as a hostile work environment.  Really, sexual harassment is just one category of hostile work environment - it is a hostile work environment based on sex (as opposed to race, age, disability, etc.).  The concept of hostile work environment is too involved for this blog post, but for further information please read this article.  But do keep in mind that this is a "reasonable person" standard.  Just because an employee may be offended, that alone does not convert otherwise benign conduct into a hostile work environment.  It has to be bad enough that a so-called "reasonable person" would be adversely affected.

Questions?  Concerns?   Contact us - we can help!

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

What is sexual harassment
What is sexual harassment

One of the most talked about – and misunderstood – aspects of employment law is sexual harassment. This article is intended to provide a brief overview of the law of sexual harassment. Federal Law (Title VII), State Law (New York State Human Rights Law), and City Law (New York City Human Rights Law), all prohibit sexual harassment. The law of sexual harassment is gender neutral – the harasser can be a woman or a man, and the harasser does not have to be of the opposite sex. The harasser may be your supervisor, co-worker or even a non-employee. And you do not have to be the person who was directly sexually harassed--anyone affected by the offensive conduct may bring a valid claim.

There are three components to sexual harassment:

  1. The conduct must be “unwelcome;”
  2. The conduct must be of a sexual nature; and
  3. The conduct must unreasonably interfere with an individual’s work (or create an awful working environment).

Unwelcome Conduct

The first component is that the conduct must be unwelcome. This means that you cannot partake in boorish sexual behavior and joke around one day, and then allege sexual harassment based on that conduct the next. This is not to say that being OK with some conduct makes you OK with all conduct. The best course of action is that if something is unwelcome, you should say so.

Conduct of a Sexual Nature

The conduct must be sexual – it can be comments, physical action, innuendo, showing pornographic materials, or lewd displays in the workplace. If the harassing conduct is based on something else (like race, religion, disability, etc.), you may have a claim for hostile work environment, but for the claim to be sexual harassment, the conduct must be sexual in nature.

Conduct Must Unreasonably Interfere with Employment

The law does not impose a general civility code. For the (1) unwelcome (2) sexual conduct to be actionable sexual harassment – it has to unreasonably interfere with your employment. In other words, it has to be really bad. Some sexual conduct (especially comments), even R-rated conduct, is not actionable if it would not “unreasonably” interfere with an ordinary person’s ability to do his or her job. However, if you do feel offended, you should complain. Even if technically, you have not been sexually harassed, it is unlawful to retaliate against someone for making a good faith complaint of harassment.

If you think that you have been a victim of sexual harassment, you should speak to an NY sexual harassment lawyer. A good employment lawyer can help you determine whether you have a valid claim against your employer and can help you develop a plan to stop the harassment.

Contact our office today for a free consultation.

NY Sexual Harassment Lawyer

Let a NY Sexual Harassment Lawyer Help You

NY Sexual Harassment Lawyers can assist you with any harassment or discrimination issues that you are experiencing at work.  Our lawyers handle a host of other NY Discrimination Law issues.  NY Employment Law, NYC Employment Law and Federal Employment law all protect employees from illegal treatment at work.  Let our NY Sexual Harassment Lawyers help you understand your rights and get what you have earned.

If you believe you are a victim of sexual harassment at work for any reason, please contact a NY Sexual Harassment Lawyer at our firm for a free initial consultation.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is any verbal or physical interaction which is both unwanted and sexual in nature.  Sexual harassment can also take the form of sexual suggestions or explicit language, or a pattern of sexist remarks. According to the EEOC, sexual harassment occurs, "when submission to or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual's employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual's work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment."

Examples of Sexual Harassment

  • Verbal abuse, jokes or conversations about sex
  • Offensive words on clothing, and unwelcome comments and repartee.
  • Touching and any other bodily contact such as scratching or patting a coworker's back, grabbing an employee around the waist, or interfering with an employee's ability to move.
  • Pressure for sex or dates, or unwanted flirting.
  • Transmitting or posting emails or pictures of a sexual or other harassment-related nature.  These can be posters, calendars, signs or clothing.
  • Sexually oriented entertainment at a work related event.
  • Playing sexually suggestive music.
  • Comments on a person’s appearance that make the person uncomfortable because of his or her sex.
  • Unwanted touching.
  • Offering promotions or other job favors for sex, or threatening retaliation for denial of sex.

For more information on NYC sexual harassment, see:

For more information on sexual harassment, see:

If you feel that you have been the victim of sexual harassment, please contact us for a free initial consultation.