If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic or gender-based violence, call 311 to be connected to a NYC Family Justice Center near you to receive FREE and CONFIDENTIAL assistance for victims/survivors of intimate partner violence, sex trafficking, and elder abuse. All Centers are open Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. No appointment is needed.
Find resources and support in NYC by searching the City's NYCHOPE Resource Directory. Call the City's 24-hour Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-621-HOPE (1-800-621-4673) for immediate safety planning, shelter assistance, and other resources. For TDD, call 1-866-604-5350.
Sexual harassment is also unlawful under state and federal law.
To file a complaint with the New York State Division of Human Rights, please visit the Division’s website.
To file a charge with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), please visit the EEOC’s website.
Many of the stories in the training are based on real people’s experiences. Learn more about the story and the case.
“I’m a financial analyst. I feel uncomfortable at work because the office is a boys’ club. Men call out numbers to rate women’s looks as they walk by. Women are told to wear high heels and tight dresses. Work events are held at strip clubs. Because I don’t want to go to those events, I lose out on new clients.”
Based on: Mihalik v. Credit Agricole Cheuvreux N. Am., Inc., 715 F.3d 102, 106 (2d Cir. 2013)
A former female vice president, Renee Mihalik, brought a claim of gender discrimination and retaliation under the New York City Human Rights Law against Credit Agricole Cheuvreux North America, a brokerage firm. Among other issues, Mihalik alleged the office was a “boys’ club.”
“The male employees regularly talked about visiting strip clubs and rated their female colleagues' appearances. Shortly after one of Mihalik's female co-workers had given birth, Peacock joked that he could not see that co-worker because her 'breasts were in the way' and then told her, '[I]f this job doesn't work out, Scores [a New York strip club] is hiring.' Upon introducing Mihalik to a new male employee in January 2008, Peacock told her to 'respect' the new employee because he was 'male' and 'more powerful' than she was.”
Mihalik’s supervisor often told her she looked “sexy,” and said that when she wore certain outfits, she should “dress like that every day. You might get more clients in turn.”
“I’m a preschool teacher. My performance review is coming up. If I get a good review, I might get a raise. At the holiday party at a restaurant, my supervisor, Sophie, flirted with me all night. She put her hand on my leg under the table. It made me uncomfortable. I worry that if tell I her to stop, I won’t get a good review and I could really use a raise.”
Based on: Stringfellow v. Wyckoff Heights Med. Ctr., No. 95 CV 3041, 1998 WL 760286 (E.D.N.Y. Sept. 9, 1998)
Plaintiff alleged that his supervisor sexually harassed him at a holiday party, including stating that she wanted to kiss him under the mistletoe, and in the workplace.
“I’m an undocumented immigrant and clean buildings at night. One night, my boss told me to clean a bathroom alone and followed me in. He pushed me against the wall and grabbed my breasts. Luckily, I escaped. Later, he threatened to have me deported if I didn’t have sex with him. I’m terrified.”
Based on: Erika Morales, Frontline, Rape on the Night Shift (January 16, 2018)
Erika Morales worked as a night shift janitor. Her supervisor touched her and made sexual comments to her. She regularly asked him to stop, but he laughed in response. One night, the supervisor asked Morales to go with him to the supply closet, where he cornered her, tried to remove her clothes against her will, touched her, and grabbed her by the hair. Morales quit a few days later.
“I work on a construction site with a team of five men. They talk about their sexual experiences throughout the day, which makes me uncomfortable. I don’t join in. Two guys give me a hard time. They say I’m not a real man. They also joke about me having sex with other men.”
Based on: Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Servs., Inc., 523 U.S. 75, 118 S. Ct. 998, 140 L. Ed. 2d 201 (1998).
Plaintiff, a man, alleged that his male co-workers regularly made unwelcome sexual comments, and threats, escalating to physical and sexual assault. Plaintiff complained to his supervisor, but no actions were taken to stop the harassment. Subsequently, Plaintiff quit his job and filed a complaint against the company claiming sexual harassment in the workplace.
“I am a server at a restaurant. Most people think I’m a woman, but I am non-binary. I do not identify as a man or as a woman. My manager said I will have to dress like a woman if I want to become a manager. He told me I need to look like a ‘hot waitress.’ He also said I should flirt with the customers because that’s what they like.”
Based on: Meagan Hunter, “Chili’s Denied Meagan Hunter a Promotion Because She Needed to ‘Dress More Gender Appropriate,’” ACLU (January 16, 2019)
Meagan Hunter, who was a server at a restaurant, applied to a training program to become a manager. Her supervisor encouraged her to apply to a training program to become a manager. Meagan attended a seminar to learn more about this opportunity, where she wore an outfit similar to what male managers wore to work. The general manager criticized her clothes and told her that Meagan would have to dress “more gender appropriate” as a condition for the company to promote her. Meagan said she could not stay at a company where being a lesbian and gender non-conforming was more important than her work performance.
Meagan subsequently learned from a co-worker that she had been disregarded for a bartender job because the general manager did not want a lesbian at the bar since she would not attract the “right kind of clients.”
“I am a research assistant at a lab. I just came back from maternity leave. When I take a break to pump breast milk, my male co-workers say things like:
‘Hey Rachel! Can I get milk with my coffee?'
‘How about you do one, and I’ll do the other.’
I feel horrible every day.”
Based on: Complaint at 7, Jennifer Atkinson v. AECOM, Inc. et al (C.D. Cal. 2018) (Case 5:18-cv-02617-JGB-KK).
Plaintiff worked as a supply technician for AECOM, Inc. After maternity leave, she returned to work, expecting to pump during the work day. Plaintiff alleges that she was continuously subjected to sexual harassment by co-workers and supervisors, who made offensive comments about expressing breastmilk and her breast size, including “Can I get milk with my coffee?” and “I’ll help if you need me to, I don’t mind.”
Plaintiff complained to her supervisors, but they did not answer her claims. Plaintiff claims she eventually lost her job due to her request for lactation accommodation, complaints of harassment, and medical leave.
“I'm a transgender woman and a graphic designer. Right now, I’m doing contract work for a non-profit. I’m working out of the non-profit’s office for a few months. The staff makes it hard for me to be there. Someone taped a drawing of me with a penis on the fridge. I showed it to a manager. She didn’t do anything.”
Based on: EEOC v. Apple-Metro, Inc. d/b/a Applebee's Neighborhood Bar & Grill, Civil Action No. 17-cv-4333
A transgender woman worked as a server at a restaurant where she was repeatedly subjected to verbal harassment by her co-workers, who made cruel and offensive remarks about her gender and intentionally referred to her with a male name and using male pronouns. Staff called her “he,” “Daniel,” and “Caitlyn” (referring to Caitlyn Jenner), among other derogatory names. The server reported the harassment to her supervisors on several occasions. However, they failed to stop the harassment and instead dismissed her in retaliation for her complaints.
The training includes statistics. To learn more about each statistic, you can select the link to the study.
|5 million workers experience sexual harassment each year.
|Employer's Responses to Sexual Harassment, Center for Employment Equity (December 2018)
|More than 1 in 3 women experience sexual harassment in the workplace; 13% of men have experienced sexual harassment at work.
|The Facts Behind the #MeToo Movement: A National Study on Sexual Harassment and Assault, Stop Street Harassment (February 2018)
|90% of transgender and gender non-conforming people report experiencing harassment in the workplace.
|Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, National Center for Transgender Equality and National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (2011)
|Women of color experience sexual harassment at higher rates than white women.
|Out of the Shadows: An Analysis of Sexual Harassment Charges Filed by Working Women, National Women’s Law Center (2018)
|30% of male managers say they are uncomfortable working alone with a woman out of fear of complaints of sexual harassment.
|Sexual harassment and gender discrimination: the latest polls show it’s time to #MentorHer, LeanIn.org, (2018)
|Complaints of sexual harassment decrease when women are in positions of leadership.
|Training Programs and Reporting Systems Won’t End Sexual Harassment. Promoting More Women Will, Harvard Business Review (November 15, 2017)
|96% of organizations see progress when men promote gender equality. But only 30% of organizations see progress without men’s support.
|Five Ways Men Can Improve Gender Diversity at Work, Boston Consulting Group (October 10, 2017)