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How can you know if what you are experiencing is harassment?

New York workers have the right to work in an environment that is free from harassment, mistreatment and discrimination of any kind. There are both state and federal laws in place that protect individuals against these things, yet it still happens in many different types of workplaces. As an employee, you may need to know about the behaviors that qualify as harassment or discrimination.

When people experience harassment at work, they are often unsure if it is actually harassment or simply annoying or rude behavior. Harassment is more than just an annoyance – it is a type of discrimination, and you have the right to speak up if you are a victim. There is no place for harassment in any form, and you do not have to endure it on your own.

Employers can protect themselves via sexual harassment prevention

In New York and throughout the United States, sexual harassment and how it impacts employees has taken center stage in the news regarding how the issue has been ignored for so long. Employers are commonly held responsible for the behavior of people in the workplace and are forced to deal with lawsuits and take steps to tighten up policies so it does not happen again. This is when it is imperative that employers understand the minimum standards to prevent sexual harassment so they are shielded in case allegations do crop up. Having legal assistance in these cases is not just important for the victim, but for the employer as they might be blameless.

Although there are many instances where an employer is responsible either through tacitly allowing the behavior to take place or by sheer ignorance, there are also situations where the employer did everything they reasonably could and are being wrongly blamed. In some cases, the allegations of sexual harassment are overblown or fabricated. If an employer has the basic policies required by law, it can go a long way in combating claims of sexual harassment and shield them from an extended legal battle.

Lawsuit filed for illegal workplace discrimination over sexuality

In New York and across the nation, people are granted greater freedom to express themselves without hiding their sexual preferences for fear of a negative impact in the workplace. It has become easier to maintain a job or to gain employment regardless of their sexual orientation. Still, the problem of illegal workplace discrimination over a person's sexuality has not gone away. It still happens and employment claims are filed to seek justice for violations of their civil rights. With any form of workplace discrimination, discussing the case with a lawyer can yield information on how to proceed.

A man who worked at Goldman Sachs as an executive was dismissed after filing complaints that he was subjected to harassment because he is homosexual. He has filed a lawsuit against the company. He alleges they told him he sounded "too gay." They also asked him if he needed a day off from work because he was hungover after taking part in the LGBT Pride parade. He had good reviews for his performance. One positive review came from a manager who was harassing him. The man had started at the company in 2010. He rapidly rose through the ranks and was promoted to vice president by the time he was 27.

Employment claims for discrimination based on criminal history

New Yorkers who have problems in their past will inevitably be concerned that they will impact them in the future. For those who have a criminal history, getting a job can be a challenge. However, it is important to note that illegal workplace discrimination against those who have a criminal history can warrant a legal filing. Mistakes do not mean that a person does not have the right to be treated fairly and within the law. Understanding important points about how those with criminal records are protected when they seek employment or already have employment can help when there is a belief that discrimination has taken place.

When a person with a criminal history applies for a job, the employer is required to analyze the application and the history to decide if the conviction had any link to the job the applicant is seeking. An employer can deny a person with a criminal history employment if the conviction was connected to the job he or she will be doing and the hire would present an unreasonable risk. If a candidate is going to be rejected because of a criminal past, the employer is required to take several factors into account. That includes how much time has passed since the criminal act, how old the person was when the offense was committed, and if there is evidence that the person has been rehabilitated.

New York plans for changes to employment law to stop harassment

New York employers should be cognizant of the potential changes that might stem from greater attention being paid to worker complaints. While sexual harassment is currently the most commonly discussed issue with regard to problematic workplaces, there are many other issues that should be considered, each of which can have serious ramifications for employers and employees. Employers could be at greater risk of being sued for employment law violations, so it is wise to keep track of them and have advice from a qualified law firm experienced in helping employers protect their interests.

This help may be especially helpful if newly proposed laws go into effect. The new set of laws has been proposed to stop harassment and better protect worker rights. There are 10 bills to do so. Sex discrimination would be prohibited with the passage of one law. That same law would prevent employers from discriminating against employees for national origin and gender. The severe and pervasive standard is also up for change. As it stands now, the law says that some acts, like touching a person without permission and other perceived "harmless" acts, do not meet this standard. With the new law, that would change.

What is workplace discrimination based on genetic information?

As New York employees become more cognizant of employment law and how it protects them from certain types of workplace discrimination, employers must be similarly aware of the impact these issues can have on their business. A violation can cause extensive problems, lead to a lawsuit, and result in negative public attention. While many forms of discrimination are relatively self-explanatory, such as racial discrimination, gender discrimination and more, one issue that might not be as commonly understood is genetic discrimination.

A law regarding genetic discrimination - known as the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) - came into effect in 2009. Understanding this law is important not just for employees, but for employers, too, so that a reasonable defense can be crafted when there are accusations that this law was violated. Under the law, employees or applicants for a job cannot be discriminated against because of genetic information. If there are genetic tests of a person and his or her family members and there is information regarding a disorder or disease based on medical history, using that as a basis to not give a person a job or to dismiss them could lead to a charge of discrimination.

Did you suddenly begin facing unfair treatment at work?

When you first started your job, you may have felt well-liked and as if others appreciated the work that you did. You always performed your duties to the best of your abilities and tried to ensure that your workplace remained a welcoming environment. Then one day, things changed.

You may have begun to feel shunned by coworkers or suddenly started receiving poor performance reviews. You may have even missed out on a promotion you thought was a sure thing. In a worst-case scenario, your employer may have suddenly fired you from your job. What happened?

Employers need experienced legal help for employment law disputes

Throughout New York, employees are feeling more comfortable with lodging complaints about various forms of workplace mistreatment and allegations of wrongdoing. Of course, no employer wants workers to feel as if they are being treated unfairly or subjected to employment law violations. Whether the case is being taken before a panel to investigate it or it is heading to court, the employer will generally be portrayed as the entity in the wrong. However, that is not always the accurate portrait. It is possible that the employee is making claims that are inaccurate or taken out of context. They might be flat out wrong. With that, employers must have a law firm on their side that understands employer defense.

There is a seemingly endless list of reasons why an employer could feel as if he or she was subjected to illegality in the workplace. With the "me too" movement on social media, employees are emboldened to complain about alleged sexual harassment. While sexual harassment is inappropriate and unnecessary, it is not automatic that an employer, supervisor, coworker or customer behaved in a way that meets the threshold to be considered actionable in context. Having legal advice to defend against the claim is critical.

In-house counsel claims employee rights were violated

Regardless of the newfound attention and attempts to stop sexual harassment from taking place in New York workplaces, it continues to happen in a variety of ways and to people in many kinds of jobs. From the corporate world to workaday people living paycheck to paycheck, sexual harassment happens often. More people are willing to speak up about it and demand their civil rights through employment claims, but that does not end the treatment completely. For those who are willing to complain about it, the situation is often made worse when it is dismissed or downplayed by the employer. In these circumstances, having legal advice from a law firm that helps clients seek compensation for sexual harassment is needed.

The litigation counsel and vice-president at a fashion conglomerate in New York has alleged that she was confronted by sexual harassment over a three-year period. According to her, the company ignored her complaints and reduced them to aspects of "French culture." The female counsel states that she was told to tolerate it because it is how people behave in France and the company has its roots in that country. She says that the alleged harasser - who was a senior employee - stared at her in a way that made her uncomfortable. He also lunged toward her and pushed his private areas toward her face.

Rise in sexual harassment claims worrisome for employers

No employee in New York wants to be mistreated at work. Understanding what protections there are for workers who are confronted with sexual harassment is important.

In this respect, there is a rise in the number of people who are emboldened to complain about this sort of treatment. For those who have been subjected to sexual harassment, there is legal recourse to seek compensation for what happened and how it impacted them. With the growing number of sexual harassment claims, it is important to understand the details behind the rise and how to be protected when making accusations of inappropriate behavior.

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