When people go to work they expect to be treated with respect. Unfortunately, that is not the case for many of New York's workers. Recently, a 52-year-old woman has filed a lawsuit against her former employer for sexual harassment and workplace discrimination.
In this case, the woman says that she was continuously harassed by her boss from 2007 to 2012. She says that he boss exposed himself to her on several occasions. She also accused her boss of fondling her and making other sexual references.
The woman says she was afraid to report to abuse to the authorities because her boss threatened her. He is a convicted murderer who had been released on parole. He supposedly made comments to the woman about how people who snitch should be killed with a gun.
In addition to the sexual comments and assaults, the woman's boss also made demeaning comments about the woman's sexual orientation. The woman is a lesbian. She says that he claimed that she just needed a "taste" of him.
In 2012, the woman says that she finally complained about the harassment to higher-ups in her company. She was eventually fired -- she claims in retaliation for the complaints. In the lawsuit, she is asking for back pay and other damages.
While the harassment and abuse in this case was explicit and involved physical touching, sexual harassment can be more subtle. Jokes, lewd comments, sexual e-mails or other communications can all constitute sexual harassment under New York law if they create a hostile work environment. This behavior is never acceptable and should not be tolerated by employees.
New York employers that participate in, condone or allow sexual harassment to continue need to be held responsible. These companies could be forced to pay damages to their employees.
Source: New York Daily News, "Bronx woman Theresa Seignious claims boss sexually harassed her," Daniel Beekman, Sept. 13, 2013