A hostile work environment is created where sexual conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment. Harassment may take the form of an economic quid pro quo where a supervisor’s requests for sexual favors are linked to the grant or denial of job benefits, such as getting or retaining a job or receiving a favorable review or promotion.
In a situation where there is an unwelcome advance by a supervisor, linked to the granting or withholding of job benefits, a single incident may suffice for there to be a viable claim. However, in hostile environment cases, the harassment must be ongoing or pervasive.
An employer is vicariously liable for the supervisor’s harassment, which means that the employer is liable whether the employer knew about the harassment or not.
Law Offices of Joseph Y. Avrahamy has successfully litigated sexual harassment cases against governmental entities and private employers. If you believe that you have a basis for a sexual harassment claims, call or email for a free consultation.