NYC Harassment Attorneys for Employers
Severe and persistent harassment is illegal in the workplace, and New York employers can be held accountable and legally liable if they allowed harassment in the workplace or they contributed to it. However, just like how employees need protection from harassment, employers also deserve strong legal protections against false harassment claims.
At Hoffmaier & Hoffmaier, PC, our NYC harassment attorneys for employers believe that reducing (and eliminating) harassment in New York workplaces means bolstering the integrity of the New York State laws and the federal laws that were designed to protect individuals from discrimination. As such, we want to make sure that unsubstantiated claims or retaliatory lawsuits don’t ruin an employer’s career and reputation. If you’ve been accused of a harassment claim, make sure to call the attorneys at Hoffmaier & Hoffmaier as soon as possible.
Understanding Harassment in the Workplace
With the lightning speeds of social media and email, the spread of false information throughout the workplace is on the rise. Upon hearing of a false accusation of harassment, it’s easy to feel angry and bewildered, and your initial reaction may be to vehemently defend yourself. However, it’s important to stay calm and cool-headed in these situations. Although it may seem like a personal attack on your character, it’s best to use the proper channels for defense. Generally, a harassment claim will come through your company’s HR department. At this point, you’ll have a chance to defend yourself.
Harassment claims can come in a variety of formats, including:
- Sexual harassment
- Age discrimination
- Gender discrimination
- Religious discrimination and harassment
- National origin discrimination
- Race discrimination
- Disability discrimination
- And others
Before knowing how to defend yourself in a workplace harassment claim, it’s important to understand what constitutes harassment. In legalese, harassment is based on intent, which means that the claimant must prove that the employer had a conscious and willful intent to harass the victim. In many cases, for a harassment claim to hold up in courts, the claimant needs to prove that the harassment was severe and persuasive.
Employer Liability in Hostile Work Environments
An employer doesn’t need to be the harasser to be liable for a harassment claim. In fact, employers in New York have a duty to mitigate hostile work environments and correct harassing behavior and conduct. In other words, if you’re an employer, you cannot be a silent bystander. The employer can be liable in these cases if he/she is negligent in controlling working conditions and if he/she knew (or should have known) of the conduct and failed to take prompt remedial action.
Defending Against Charges of Harassment in the Workplace
When a harassment claim falls on your desk, the first thing you may want to do is set up a company meeting and express your innocence. However, it’s best to restrain from outbursts, as you need to carefully consider your next moves. Even if the harassment claim seems ridiculous, or obviously retaliatory in nature, always remember that a harassment claim is very serious. Some strategies to protect your innocence, with the help of an experienced employment law attorney, can include:
- Providing written accounts from your point-of-view. A written statement gives human resources or State investigators something to refer to during their investigations.
- Being honest. If you did commit harassment, you may be able to mitigate the damages and punishment by admitting the wrongs and providing solutions for avoiding future incidents.
- Giving an alibi or the supply the names of any witnesses who can testify to your innocence.
- Avoiding any retaliatory behavior.
- Providing a track record with your company; a work record could function well in your favor.
- Consulting with human resources about the best methods of moving forward in according with company policy.
General documentation (emails, paperwork or other documents, and other types of evidence, such as security footage) and legal representation are essential components of a good defense. An experienced lawyer can assist at any stage of the harassment claims process, whether you are first meeting with the HR department or you need to defend your case in courts or appellate courts.
Contact Hoffmaier & Hoffmaier Today
At Hoffmaier & Hoffmaier in Manhattan, NYC, we are prepared to do everything under State and federal laws to reduce the amount of damage that a harassment claim has on your professional career and personal integrity. These types of claims can be disastrous for a business, costing your company unnecessary time, money, and productivity. Our employment lawyers have a wide network of resources and legal know-how to present a strong defense. If you lose the case, we are also prepared to file an appeal, and if necessary, we will continue fighting for as long as it’s necessary. To speak with the attorneys at Hoffmaier & Hoffmaier PC, call our NYC employment law office today at (212) 777-9400.