Experienced Attorneys for Sexual Harassment Defense for Employers
If you are an employer in New York and someone has accused you or one of your employees of sexual harassment, you have rights. However, you should know that sexual harassment in the workplace is a serious matter that comes with severe consequences. Even if it is an employee or staff member – and not you personally who is facing the accusation – you and everyone else associated with the business can suffer the consequences.
Simply put, if you or someone who works for you has been accused of sexual harassment, you may have options you aren’t aware of. Plus, there are legitimate defenses and ways to protect your business. However, you’ll need an experienced sexual harassment lawyer who knows how to fight for your rights.
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What Exactly is Sexual Harassment in the Workplace?
Whether or not an incident in the workplace can be considered sexual harassment isn’t always clear. For employers, it is basically defined as unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature which:
- is a condition of employment or promotion
- an action that affects the work environment, resulting in a hostile work environment
A qualified sexual harassment lawyer can examine the details and facts of the situation and advise you on the best way to move forward.
What Are Examples of Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment is dependent on the details of the people and conduct involved, but may include, and is not limited to the following:
- Acts which are sexual in nature
- Verbal behavior such as jokes, comments, or slurs, which are sexual in nature and unwelcome
- Nonverbal behavior such as staring, leering, or making lewd gestures
- Unwelcome physical conduct which is sexual in nature such as touching, patting, or physical interference with normal work or movement
- Unwelcome sexual visuals such as posters or signs, letters, poems, graffiti, faxes, cartoons, drawings, or pictures
What Can Employers Do to Prevent Sexual Harassment?
Sometimes there isn’t anything an employer can do to stop sexual harassment from happening in the workplace. However, there are steps you can take to make it clear that it won’t be accepted. Many employers provide training and enforce policies in the workplace outlining the definition of sexual harassment as well as the consequences that workers face if they are involved.
Employers can also make sure there is a clear procedure for making complaints and that employees and people in the workplace are aware of those procedures. And, when there are complaints, employers have a duty to investigate and correct any instances as quickly as possible.
When Does Harassment Violate Federal Law?
If sexual harassment occurs in the workplace in the form of discrimination based on sex, with or without sexual conduct, it violates federal law. However, offhand comments or isolated incidents that are not frequent or do not create a hostile work environment, are not prohibited by federal law. Even if your actions are not prohibited by federal law, you and your business could face other serious consequences if you are accused of sexual harassment.
Do I Need An Attorney?
Although you might think you can handle a sexual harassment accusation by yourself, it’s important to understand that as an employer, you have a lot on the line. No matter how minor or serious the incident may appear to you, it’s in your best interests to consult an attorney. The law may look at the situation differently, and it is best to be informed ahead of time – so that you can prepare for what may be coming down the road.
An Experienced Sexual Harassment Defense Attorney Is Crucial
When managing sexual harassment charges, finding the right attorney is crucial. These charges could have serious consequences for your business, your employment, and your personal life. The attorneys at E. Stewart Jones Hacker Murphy understand the severity of this type of case, and we know how important it is to have a knowledgeable and experienced legal team on your side.
If you are facing sexual harassment charges, you can’t afford to take chances on navigating the process yourself or with someone who might not have the experience to act in your best legal interests. When your livelihood and reputation are on the line, make sure you have the right attorney in your corner.
E. Stewart Jones Hacker Murphy is an Albany-based law firm that works hard for people in many different types of legal matters. Contact us for a free consultation online or call us today at (518) 730-4723 to schedule a confidential meeting with an attorney at one of our four convenient offices in Albany, Latham, Troy, or Saratoga Springs, NY.