Sexual Harassment

Legal Protection from DeToffol & Gittleman

From bold sexual advances to subtle remarks that generate a hostile or uncomfortable work environment, sexual harassment is a serious matter that can on take many different forms. Employees in the state of New York are protected from sexual harassment by federal and state laws, in addition to the New York City Human Rights Law. If you believe that you have been the victim of sexual harassment at your place of work, talk to a New York sexual harassment lawyer who can stand up for your rights.

Myths About Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is not just a woman’s problem. Male employees can be victims of sexual harassment as well. Employees may find themselves harassed by a supervisor, manager, CEO, fellow employer, or a non-employee of the opposite or same sex.

An employee can be a victim of sexual harassment whether he or she is directly harassed or is exposed to conduct in the workplace that he or she finds offensive. Even if the subject was not discharged, demoted, or otherwise directly affected as a result, they can have a valid sexual harassment claim if the conduct interfered with their work or led to a threatening or uncomfortable work environment.

Dedicated Advocacy for New York Employees

At DeToffol & Gittleman, we understand how to defend you if you have been the victim of sexual harassment. Our attorneys have reputation for dedicated client advocacy and successful representation in sexual harassment cases in New York.

To request a consultation with an attorney from DeToffol & Gittleman, contact our New York office today.


Sexual harassment in the workplace is also illegal, whether it is opposite-sex or same-sex harassment. It can create a hostile and intimidating work environment and have an adverse effect on your work. If you believe you have been the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, DeToffol & Gittleman can advise you regarding your legal options and make sure your rights are protected. We handle all types of sexual harassment in the workplace including:

  • Fashion Industry Sexual Harassment
  • Gender/Sex
  • Co-worker Sexual Harassment
  • Office/Holiday Parties
  • Sexual Coercion
  • Sexual Joking
  • Sexual Comments
  • Supervisor Sexual Harassment
  • Unlawful Touching

Sexual harassment doesn’t always happen in the workplace. If you have experienced workplace discrimination or sexual harassment, contact us as soon as possible because there is a time limit to file a work-related claim. At DeToffol & Gittleman, we are dedicated to protecting the rights of employees and making sure that justice is served. With every case we handle, there is absolutely no fee unless we recover compensation.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature, including text messages and emails. The harasser can be supervisor, a co-worker, or in some instances, someone who is not an employee. Often, the harasser is in a position of power or authority over the victim. Sexual harassment can lead to retaliation after a person rejects sexual advances. If you have been subjected to improper sexual conduct at work, contact the New York sexual harassment attorneys at DeToffol & Gittleman.

Types of Harassment Include:

  • Criminal Sexual Conduct
  • Request for Sex
  • Sexist Behavior
  • Sexual Coercion
  • Sexual Intimidation
  • Sexual Joking, Sexual Comments
  • Unlawful Touching

Sexual Harassment Includes:

  • Co-Worker Sexual Harassment
  • Supervisor Sexual Harassment

Workplace sexual harassment can occur even outside of the office, such as a holiday/office party. Some industries, such as the as the fashion industry, are particularly susceptible to sexual harassment in subtle but poisonous ways. For more information on recognizing sexual harassment, read our sexual harassment FAQs.


Sexual harassment is considered a form of gender discrimination, because it is harassing conduct that occurs because of an individual’s gender. Gender discrimination in all its forms, including sexual harassment, is prohibited by Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964. Sexual harassment claims are handled by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). New York State’s Human Rights Law and the New York City Human Rights Law also prohibit sexual harassment and reach much smaller employers than the Civil Rights Act. In 2010, 11,717 sexual harassment claims were filed with the EEOC across the country.


The EEOC groups sexual harassment into two main categories. The first is called “quid pro quo” sexual harassment. This happens where submitting to unwelcome sexual conduct is made the basis for employment decisions – such as requiring sexual favors in order to grant a promotion. Similarly, when rejection of sexual advances forms the basis for a decision to fire, demote, or refuse to promote an employee, quid pro quo sexual harassment has occurred. This type of harassment results in an economic loss to the victim. A pattern of favoritism to one gender based on the granting of sexual favors can create quid pro quo harassment of members of either gender.

The more common form of sexual harassment is the second category, called “hostile work environment” harassment. A hostile work environment exists where unwelcome verbal or physical conduct unreasonably interferes with the victim’s ability to do his or her job, or creates an offensive, intimidating, or hostile working environment. Even general, non-sexual comments – such as comments about one gender – can create a hostile work environment where the comments are frequent or severe. Minor isolated incidents or harmless lighthearted teasing do not amount to a hostile work environment. If you are uncertain, it can be helpful to consult with an attorney to get an idea of whether the conduct at issue is so offensive as to constitute a hostile work environment.

Sexual harassment does not always follow expected patterns. Men can easily be the victim of sexual harassment. Between 1997 and 2010, the percentage of harassment charges filed with the EEOC by men has risen from approximately 12% to 16%. Sexual harassment can also occur between members of the same sex, based on unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature or patterns of favoring the opposite sex for inappropriate reasons. Anyone affected by the improper conduct can be a victim, not just the person directly subject to harassing conduct, and harassment can take place without any economic injury to the victim.


Sexual harassment cases are difficult, and require an experienced New York sexual harassment attorney. There is inevitably a high level of discomfort in testifying about the facts of harassment, and often sexual harassment cases involve “he said, she said” types of testimony, making credibility and any documentary evidence or email critical. While retaliation based on pursuing a sexual harassment claim is prohibited, the workplace may remain uncomfortable.

Employment Lawyers Representing Employees. The top rated Labor & Employment Law Attorneys at DeToffol & Gittleman have several Million Dollar Jury Verdicts over the past years. Make sure your employment attorneys have the verdicts to back up their negotiations-Results Matter! The New York City employment firm of DeToffol & Gittleman employs some of the top and most experienced employment discrimination and sexual harassment lawyers in New York. Our discrimination and sexual harassment attorneys defend employees throughout NY. Our employment law attorneys offer a free legal advice consultation to review your EEOC claim, sexual harassment, employment discrimination or wage & hour violations case. Our Attorneys also charge no fee unless we recover for you in your case.

At DeToffol & Gittleman, we understand the difficulties of pursuing a sexual harassment claim, but we also know that no one should have to tolerate unwelcome sexual advances in the workplace. We are aggressive advocates for our clients, and have substantial experience in harassment and discrimination claims. For a free, confidential consultation, contact us today (212) 962-2220.