Can Sexual Advances at work create a Hostile Work Environment? | NYC Sexual Harassment Attorney

The prominent New York City Sexual Harassment lawyers and Employment Discrimination attorneys at the Akin Law Group are dedicated to protecting the rights of employees and workers subjected to unwelcomed sexual advances at their job.  Our New York and New Jersey Employment attorneys are waiting for your call to assist you with all types of needs. Call and speak directly to one of our Sexual Harassment attorneys or one of our Employment Discrimination lawyers at 212-825-1400.

Can an employee ask another employee on a date?

Sexual harassment by way of sexual advances is a type of Sexual Harassment that is illegal.  The advance may be classified as Quid Pro Quo sexual harassment, where the person making the advance makes it well known to the employee that accepting the sexual advance will have benefits while declining the sexual advance may have consequences. On the other hand, the sexual advances (even if it can’t be classified as Quid Pro Quo) can become so sever and pervasive that it creates a Hostile Work Environment for the employee. Hence, an although just one comment or an initial request to date may not necessarily be illegal, it may become illegal activity if it persists despite the employee advising the accoster that he/she is not interested in their advances.

Is staring harassment?

Staring, especially if it is pervasive and extreme, can create a hostile work environment and be deemed sexual harassment. Although an initial glare may be insufficient, staring at someone private parts (breasts, buttock, etc.) or staring at someone extensively or on a constant reoccurring basis will create a hostile work environment for the person that is being stared at.

Examples of Sexual Advances that are improper:

  • Telling an employee that they will get a raise if they agree to go on a date
  • Advising a subordinate that they will not be written up if they agree to become “closer” friends
  • Asking a married woman if she would engage in a sexual relationship
  • Unsolicited advances on a daily basis
  • Continuing to ask someone out on a date despite being told NO
  • Telling a worker you can treat them better than their current partner
  • Insisting that the person start a relationship
  • Insisting that a worker give them a chance

What to do if someone is making sexual advances at work?

If the person that is making the sexual advances at work has escalated the events to such a level that you feel a hostile work environment has been created, or they have promised you something in return for accepting the sexual advance, or they are threatening you with some adverse action if you refuse the sexual advance, you should

  • Politely by firmly advise them that you are not interested
  • Report the incident as mandated by your employer (to a supervisor or to HR) and keep a written record of the reports you make (you may want to make the report via e-mail to have proof)
  • Contact the Akin Law Group or an attorney of your choosing for advise

Can I be fired for reporting a sexual advance?

You absolutely should not be fired for making a complaint about sexual advances, but unfortunately those are not the realities of the world. We have seen many cases where the person making a complaint of sexual harassment (sexual advance or otherwise) has been fired or faced some other type of retaliation. In the event you face any retaliation (whether you are fired or not) or the person making the sexual advance is a supervisor or manager, the company will be liable.  If, however, the person making the sexual advance is a subordinate or a co-worker, you must report the incident to the company (supervise or HR) and wait for their response. The company will only be liable for a subordinate or co-workers sexual advance if you reported the incident and they failed to take the proper action.

Are there laws against Sexual Advances at work?

In New York City, New York State, and in New Jersey both local and federal laws protect victims of unwanted sexual advances.  In New York City the Administrative Code of the City of New York § 8-101, in New York State the Human Rights Law, Executive Law § 296, in New Jersey the Law Against Discrimination (N.J.S.A. 10:5-12) and on a Federal Level Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. § 2000 e) protects employees against unwanted sexual advances that occur at work.

Some victims of sexual advances blame themselves for what has occurred, feeling that they may have said or done something to given the accoster reason to believe they could make sexual advances.  Often these victims feel so embarrassed and humiliated that they chose to do nothing and hope that it goes away. Unfortunately, these illegal acts seldom resolve themselves without intervention. The New York Sexual Harassment attorneys at the Akin Law Group and the New Jersey Sexual Harassment lawyers at the Akin Law Group are here to help. We will treat you with the compassion, care and consideration that you deserve. Our consultation is always Free and always Confidential. We can handle your claim in a very discrete manner.  You need not fear or blame yourself (even if you have given into the sexual advance) for any of the harassment that you were forced to endure. We look forward to receiving your call to help you while punishing and holding those that committed the illegal acts of sexual harassment responsible.

Call and speak privately with one of our New York City sexual harassment attorneys at 212-825-1400.