Discrimination & Harassment

Hostile Work Environment

Federal laws and some state and city laws protect individuals from discrimination on the basis of sex. This prohibition on sex discrimination extends to sexual harassment, which includes conduct that unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.

The determination of whether the conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive to constitute a hostile work environment must be made on a case-by-case basis, because not all offensive conduct is actionable under the sexual harassment laws. Please keep in mind that most employment laws have short time limits for filing claims and, as a result, it is best to seek legal advice as soon as you can. There are certain types of conduct and situations where actions by a manager or co-worker may rise to the level of a hostile work environment, for example:

  • Inappropriate comments or jokes of a sexual nature that you find offensive or unwelcome, including sexual advances or suggestive remarks;
  • Comments or questions about your sex life, body or clothing;
  • Displaying, posting or distributing emails, pictures, posters, magazines or other content of an explicit or sexual nature; or
  • Inappropriate touching, including kissing, hugging, patting, rubbing or intentionally brushing up against you.

Employees who have experienced a sex-based hostile work environment will find sensitive, skilled attorneys at Outten & Golden who are committed to advocating for victims of sexual harassment. Our lawyers help employees experiencing a hostile work environment by urging the employer to address and improve the situation; at times, that can involve moving the employee or harasser to a different part of the organization, or finding some other workable solution and/or compensating the employee.

Contact Hostile Work Environment Attorneys

If you believe you have been subjected to sexual harassment and/or a hostile work environment, please contact the firm through the ”Contact Us" form or by calling us in the New York, Chicago, San Francisco, or Washington, DC office (see bottom of page for phone numbers) to begin the Outten & Golden intake process.

Please visit http://www.workharassment.net for more information about sexual harassment and gender discrimination.

News

When #MeToo Becomes Catch-22

Wall Street Journal—Joann S. Lublin

A number of high-profile men have recently lost powerful positions over their alleged sexual misconduct. But for female victims of harassment, speaking up often is just as career damaging.

Managerial women who report such abuse can struggle to regain their professional momentum. To escape toxic work environments, they frequently quit or exit entire industries, and some choose different professions, according to interviews with lawyers and women who have experienced sexual harassment at work. When women resign due to sexual harassment, their earnings tend to stall or decline, an academic study...

Time’s Up Defense Fund Could Have Major Impact, but Also Faces Conflicts

Variety—Gene Maddaus

The Time’s Up campaign got as good a launch as could be hoped for on Sunday, with a heavy promotion at the Golden Globes. By midweek, the campaign had raised more than$16 millionfor its legal defense fund, including numerous donations of $25 or $50 apiece from the general public.

But the administration of the fund, and the criteria by which cases will be parceled out to lawyers and supported through donations, remains very much a work in progress. The fund will be based at the National Women’s Law Center, which launched a network of cooperating attorneys to take on sexual harassment and...