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NY Sexual Harassment Lawyer Update: WirelessComm Pays $97,000 to Settle Hostile Work Environment and Retaliation Claims

Thumbnail image for above-the-bar-logo-no12.jpgMs. Deisy Mora, a teenage employee of WirelessComm, a distributor of the Metro PCS cell phone service, alleged that she was sexually harassed during her employment by her manager. Specifically, Ms. Mora alleged that her supervisor made offensive sexual comments and sent her unsolicited text messages and photos. When Ms. Mora’s complaints of the hostile work environment went unanswered and the sex harassment continued, she resigned. Under the law, a resignation under these circumstances may be considered a constructive discharge. If you believe you are subject to sexual harassment in your workplace, call our NY, NJ & CT Sexual Harassment Attorneys at (800) 893-9645 to confidentially learn your rights and legal options. Our attorneys have represented many victims of abuse in the workplace and can assist you in fighting back.

Sexual Harassment is Illegal under Federal Law, State Law and Local Laws

Sexual harassment is a form of unlawful sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the relevant local human rights laws in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. There are two types of conduct that can form the basis for a sex harassment complaint.

The first type of sexual harassment is called “quid pro quo” harassment. Generally, this may occur if a supervisor requests (or demands) a sexual favor in exchange for a promotion or another employment benefit. For example, a supervisor, co-worker (or even a third-party vendor or client) may seek to condition a promotion, raise, desirable work schedule or some other preferential treatment for a sexual favor. In addition, continued employment that is dependent on a sexual or personal relationship with a manager or another person may also constitute “quid pro quo” harassment. Even if you have submitted to such an advance, you may be entitled to file a claim because it could have been under duress. Examples of inappropriate sexually harassing behavior include unwanted comments about your body, repeatedly asking you out on a date, unwanted sexual advances or flirting, and the unwanted touching of your person or clothing.

The second type of sexual harassment called a hostile work environment was alleged by Ms. Mora. Specifically, this may occur if you experience discriminatory conduct or harassment in the workplace so severe or pervasive that you feel intimidated, ridiculed or insulted and your job performance is adversely affected. In order to legally constitute a hostile work environment, the environment must be considered “hostile” by you and by a reasonable person’s standard. Some examples of prohibited conduct include: unwelcome lewd joking or obscenities, derogatory gestures, pornography in the workplace, sexually degrading emails/texts, pictures, posters and screensavers. In recent years, a greater number of sexual harassment claims involve texts or emails – copies of these harassing communications can prove to be very persuasive of your claim. Do not erase them.

WirelessComm not only agreed to pay $97,000 to settle the claim, it also agreed to hire an equal employment opportunity consultant and a human resources consultant to revise its EEO policies; train the owner and staff regarding anti-discrimination laws; monitor the workplace; respond to any allegations of harassment arising during the pendency of the decree; and report harassment complaints to the EEOC. These remedies are dramatic and will help to prevent any future incidents. Employees, especially teenage employees, should not be subject to a hostile work environment.

If you have any questions about your workplace or sexual harassment, call our attorneys at (800) 893-9645 to educate and protect yourself.

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Thank you for visiting our Blog. This blog provides general information and thoughts about various employment law issues primarily in the New York Tri-State area and occasionally in other areas. You are welcome to read the posts. However, do not construe any content on this blog as legal advice or the creation of an attorney-client relationship. Again, we provide the content only for informational purposes. You should not make decisions based information on our blog since the application of the law depends on the facts and each situation may be different. In addition, the law in most jurisdictions is different and changes constantly and we make no representations that any information on our blog has been updated. The Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from an experienced employment law attorney in your state or jurisdiction.