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Sexual Harassment During the Hiring Process

New York Attorneys Helping Job Seekers Protect Their Rights

Many victims of sexual harassment are established employees, but unfortunately, people can also be subjected to sexual harassment when they are interviewing for a position. Sexual harassment in the employment context is unlawful regardless of when it occurs, and victims of sexual harassment during the hiring process may be owed compensation. The capable New York sexual harassment lawyers at Gerstman Schwartz are adept at handling a variety of claims against employers. If you were sexually harassed while you were seeking employment, we can set forth compelling arguments on your behalf to help you seek the best legal outcome available in your case.

Laws Prohibiting Sexual Harassment

Under the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL), it is considered an improper discriminatory practice for an employer to refuse to hire or employ a person or to discriminate against a person regarding compensation or terms, privileges, or conditions of a job based on the person’s sex. Similarly, it is unlawful discrimination under the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL) for an employer to refuse to hire a person or discriminate against the person in compensation or employment terms, conditions, or privileges because of the person’s sex. The NYSHRL also prohibits harassment based on sex that results in inferior terms of employment. Finally, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) dictates that it is an unlawful employment act for an employer to refuse to hire a person or otherwise discriminate against him or her in terms of employment based on the person’s sex. Sexual harassment is considered discrimination based on sex under all three laws.

Sexual Harassment During the Hiring Process

Sexual harassment during the hiring process can be subtle or blatant. For example, an employer may make sexually suggestive comments or gestures or brush up against a potential employee. Sharing explicit stories or pictures and suggesting that the employee act in a similar manner probably constitutes sexual harassment as well. In some instances, a person interviewing a potential employee may become aggressive and expressly request that the person perform sexual acts, or attempt to kiss or grope the individual.

Generally, there are two kinds of sexual harassment: quid pro quo and hostile work environment. A hostile work environment claim usually occurs after a person has been hired and arises when sexual harassment, to some extent, modifies the terms or conditions of an individual’s employment. By contrast, most of the sexual harassment that happens during the hiring process will be quid pro quo. Quid pro quo harassment occurs during the process of hiring a person when a potential employee’s rejection of or submission to the interviewer’s unwelcome request for sexual activity is a basis for determining whether to hire the person. In other words, if a supervisor pressures an interviewee to have sex to obtain a job, and the person submits and gets the position, it is probably grounds for a quid pro quo sexual harassment claim. Furthermore, an interviewee who receives the same request but rejects the interviewer’s advances and is denied the job may also be able to seek damages for quid pro quo sexual harassment. It is important to note that employers can be held liable for quid pro quo harassment committed by supervisors or other hiring agents.

Contact a Knowledgeable Sexual Harassment Attorney in New York

Sexual harassment can occur during the hiring process, and when it does, employers should be held accountable. If you were sexually harassed while seeking a position, it is prudent to consult a lawyer about your rights. At Gerstman Schwartz, our knowledgeable New York attorneys are skilled at fighting to hold employers accountable. We frequently assist sexual harassment victims in lawsuits in New York City and Nassau and Suffolk Counties. You can reach us to set up a consultation via our online form or by calling (212) 227-7070 for our New York City office or calling (516) 880-8170 for our Garden City office.

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