Workplace harassment occurs when an employee is ill-treated by another employee or supervisor. It’s a form of employment discrimination and is prohibited by federal and state laws. Furthermore, employment discrimination laws also prohibit harassment in retaliation for the person filing a charge of discrimination or opposing employment discrimination.
Harassment involves conduct that is unwelcome and may include offensive jokes, slurs, name calling, physical assaults or threats, insults, ridicule, intimidation, and offensive items (including objects and pictures).
Conduct becomes unlawful harassment where:
1. enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of employment, or
2. the conduct is severe or pervasive enough to create a hostile work environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile or abusive.
What are the Protected Classes regarding Workplace Harassment under Federal Law?
- Citizenship status
- Disability (mental or physical)
- Genetic records
- National origin
- Sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions)
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regulates workplace discrimination under federal law.
What are the Protected Classes regarding Workplace Harassment under New York State Law?
New York not only covers the protected classes under federal law, but additionally prohibits discrimination based on:
- Credit history
- Domestic violence victim status
- Familial status
- Gender identity
- Marital status
- Military status or service
- Prior arrest
- Salary history
- Sexual orientation
The Division of Human Rights administers New York State law on discrimination.
In addition to state and federal laws, counties and cities may also have laws prohibiting workplace harassment and discrimination. For example, New York City has some of the broadest anti-discrimination laws in the country.
Weaving through the web of local, state and federal discrimination laws is difficult with each having its own filing requirements and each applying potentially to different employers. You do not have to do it alone. The Law Offices of Maureen B. Godfrey can help you through the process. We offer attention to details and individualized attention. For immediate help, call 1-800-791-0206.
Do not hesitate to call; in order to preserve your rights you should act quickly or you may lose your rights. Call to set up a free consultation or fill out our online form.