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Rochester Sexual Harassment Law Blog

It takes mettle to come forward with sexual harassment complaints

College is meant to be a formative time in our personal and professional lives. For many of us, it's the first time we live away from home; for a lot of people, it's when we figure out what we want to do for a living. For all the good that can come out of the college experience, though, there are plenty of less-than-ideal things that can happen, too.

One of them is sexual harassment. We might think of people being victimized by requests for sexual favors, lewd language, or other inappropriate behavior as something that is only found in the workplace. However, on many college campuses, this kind of behavior is often the norm. A student at Yale wrote an opinion piece recently in which she urges people to come forward if they have been the victim of this kind of behavior.

Congresswoman: House of Representatives isn't a 'frat house'

There is a long history in our country of distrusting our elected officials -- especially those in Congress. These feelings of distrust can be intensified when a congressman is embroiled in a scandal regarding improper conduct such as sexual harassment or extramarital affairs. While having an affair might not be illegal, creating a hostile  work environment for employees by either actions or words certainly is, and when an elected official is accused of something of this nature, it can be harmful to that person's career.

Of course, the real victim isn't the person who could lose his or her congressional seat; it's the person who has been subjected to the inappropriate behavior. And while most large employers have training in place to demonstrate to employees what inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace, the U.S. House of Representatives does not.

Teens often unlikely to report being sexually harassed at work

Sexual harassment in the workplace is a problem everywhere -- and at every level of employment. Men and women with six-figure incomes have been subjected to requests for sexual favors and other objectionable, and illegal, behavior, just as folks who work minimum wage have been.

However, employees in entry-level jobs might be less likely to report this kind of behavior on the part of their supervisors or fellow employees. This seems to be especially true for young people who are working at one of their first jobs. They might feel that they have few options for getting another job, and even if they did, can't afford to go without a paycheck for any length of time.

New York City law protects unpaid interns from sexual harassment

In many places around the United States, unpaid interns who have been subjected to sexual discrimination or harassment haven't had much of a leg to stand on when it comes to bringing a case. Amazing as it may sound, in many jurisdictions around the United States, if a worker is the victim of sexual harassment but is classified as an unpaid intern, then that intern was not protected from that type of behavior.

Slowly, more and more jurisdictions are passing laws to close this loophole. California's legislature has a bill in a committee that addresses the issue, and Oregon and the District of Columbia already have laws on the books. Just this past week, New York City added itself to the list. It is important to note that the law is one that only applies to New York City; unpaid interns in other parts of our state are not yet protected.

Man gets big settlement for losing his job after HIV diagnosis

New York residents might find themselves discriminated against in the workplace for a number of reasons: gender, race, religion, or sexual harassment. What can be even more troubling is when these workers are brave enough to come forward to management to report the harassment and end up being terminated as a result. This kind of retaliation is not legal, and it is up to the people on the receiving end of this poor treatment to work with an attorney to help them win their case.

This is what a man who was fired from his job at a Manhattan hotel did. After receiving pay raises and internal awards, he was diagnosed with HIV. The medication he was prescribed made him drowsy, he says, so he requested that he be taken off the night shift. However, his supervisor refused to change his schedule.

Reports of nursing home discrimination lead to settlement

It might seem hard to believe that in 2014, we haven't overcome all our societal hangups and barriers regarding race. When the country elected an African-American president in 2008 -- and then re-elected him in 2012 -- many people might have hoped that it marked the unofficial end to racial discrimination in the United States.

Of course, this turned out to be more of a dream than reality. There are still bastions of discrimination in the country; when some of these places are places of employment, then charges of employment discrimination might follow. This is what happened in a New York nursing home recently.

Starbucks employee files sexual harassment suit against bosses

No matter what career aspirations one has, we all tend to start work at the bottom. For many high school and college students, this means working in food service. Although the work is unglamorous and the pay is low, these jobs can build character and give younger workers real-world experience.

Sadly, that experience sometimes includes sexual harassment, as it allegedly did for a New York woman working as a barista at Starbucks. The 23-year-old is suing her former bosses after allegedly being sexually harassed on numerous occasions by her supervisor.

NY man sues employer after female bosses sexually harassed him

It is no secret that the most common sexual harassment scenario involves men harassing women. That being said, we shouldn’t forget that men are sometimes sexual harassment victims and women the aggressors. Sexual harassment scenarios can also involve two men or two women.

Unfortunately, gender stereotypes are often so pervasive that people don’t always recognize harassment when it doesn’t involve a man harassing a woman. A recent case from New York City seems to illustrate this problem.

Country club sued by a former waitress for sexual harassment

For a number of reasons, sexual harassment seems especially prevalent in the service industry. It is sadly common for women who work as restaurant waitresses or hostesses to be sexually harassed by male clientele, male managers/coworkers or both.

A recent case appears to be a textbook example of sexual harassment in the service industry. A 35- year-old woman is currently suing the upscale country club where she worked as a waitress from 2008 until her resignation in 2011. She alleges that she was forced to quit because she could no longer tolerate the aggressive physical and verbal sexual harassment from the club’s general manager and certain co-workers.

Office romances: Are they worth the risks?

One of our recent posts focused on the problems that can arise with office romances. In that particular case, the trouble largely started when the couple broke up. However, there can still be potential legal issues that arise even when office romances are successful.

In light of the fact that tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, the subject of romantic relationships between coworkers is a timely one. If these relationships are not handled appropriately, certain employees and the business as a whole could potentially face legal action related to sexual harassment.