Office/Holiday Parties

Although the holiday season may be a time of cheer and fun, sexual harassment can mar that joyous spirit. If you have been the victim of workplace sexual harassment – including at holiday parties in the office and at work-sponsored events at other venues – you do not have to endure that offensive conduct. At DeToffol & Gittleman, we are committed to helping victims of sexual harassment and discrimination throughout Manhattan and the other boroughs of New York.

Our sexual harassment lawyers will work diligently to see that you are compensated for any injury you have suffered as a result of harassment or discrimination. Call now to speak with one of our attorneys at (212) 962-2220.


New York and federal law prohibit sexual harassment in the workplace, but many people are unaware that the law also protects them in certain situations outside the office. For non-supervisory employees, conduct at work-sponsored holiday parties can contribute to a hostile work environment, which is a type of sexual harassment. Holiday parties can be fun and light-hearted, but they can also lead to uncomfortable situations where the standard for appropriate professional conduct is blurred. If alcohol is available, then the likelihood of inappropriate and illegal behavior increases significantly. Do not put up with sexual harassment in the workplace or at any work functions. Contact us today.

Some examples of sexual harassment that may occur during a holiday party include:

  • Teasing someone for his or her costume or attire
  • Coercing someone into kissing under mistletoe
  • Pressuring coworkers into playing games like “Twister” or “Truth or Dare” that can lead to uncomfortable physical contact or humiliating questions
  • Giving sexually suggestive or romantic gifts

Although isolated instances of this type of behavior are inappropriate and wrong, state and federal law are specific about what degree of behavior is illegal. Usually this type of conduct does not occur in isolation; patterns of sexual harassment, jokes, or comments can create a hostile work environment for employees and may be actionable under state or federal law, or both.

If you have been the victim of this type of behavior, the New York employment discrimination attorneys at DeToffol & Gittleman may be able to help you. We have successfully handled many types of sexual harassment cases in the New York City area. Our consultation is free and there is no fee unless we recover. Call and speak to one of our attorneys at (212) 962-2220.


Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits gender discrimination, including sexual harassment. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) handles all gender discrimination claims. New York State’s Human Rights Law and the New York City Human Rights Law also prohibit sexual harassment, and apply even to small employers that are beyond the scope of the federal Civil Rights Act.

We hope that the holiday season is fun and relaxing for you, and that any work-related parties are enjoyable and pleasant. However, if you are the victim of sexual harassment as described here or in other ways, do not hesitate to contact DeToffol & Gittleman to see what legal recourse you might have. We understand the highly sensitive nature of workplace actions and lawsuits against one’s employer, and we approach all of our cases with the utmost compassion and care.