NEW YORK, July 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Sexual harassment in the workplace does not always involve a male superior harassing a female subordinate. Phillips & Associates employment attorneys, Edward Kennedy and Jesse Rose recently obtained a $40,000 jury verdict in a case of a female supervisor engaging in illegal sexual harassment and retaliation against a male subordinate.
According to court documents, Cory Lashley a Queens, New York man says that he met his future boss at a nightclub. The two spoke about his job in sales and her need for a Director of Admissions at her school, New Life Business Institute. The night progressed and the boss took him back to his house where they had sex and a job offer was made.
The plaintiff said he felt "especially guilty" about trading sex for employment. He started the job at the school the very next Monday.
The plaintiff said that he succeeded in the new position. He hired his team and performed his job well. He stated he met or exceeded all of his goals in bringing in prospective students to the school. However, the "job" sometimes involved more than work. The female supervisor continued to pressure him for sex. When the plaintiff fought back and said "no", the supervisor responded by firing his entire team.
As time passed following the termination of his team, the man says that he submitted to sex with the supervisor. When the man refused to continue to engage in sex, she promptly fired him.
The employee sued his supervisor and her school, claiming gender discrimination and retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the New York City Human Rights Law. The employee also sought punitive damages claiming that his supervisor engaged in malicious, willful, and outrageous conduct.
A jury mostly agreed with the plaintiff and found that he was subject to quid pro quo sexual harassment -- meaning that he was forced to engage in sexual conduct with his boss in order to keep his job. The jury also found that the man worked in a hostile work environment and was retaliated against when he was terminated for stopping the sexual relationship. The jury awarded the man $40,000 in damages. That damage amount was comprised of $10,000 for lost wages and $30,000 for punitive damages. The plaintiff is also entitled to all attorney fees and costs which can be significant. This was a significant win for the employee. It shows that both male and females have the right to a work environment free from sexual harassment. If an employer promises some type of job benefit whether it be a raise or promotion in exchange for sexual favors, it can be considered quid pro quo harassment. Additionally, if an employer threatens a person's job for not engaging in these behaviors, it can be considered retaliation.
About Phillips & Associates
Phillips & Associates is a New York City law firm that focuses on helping victims of workplace discrimination and sexual harassment. We have successfully fought for the rights of employees who faced harassment or discrimination due to their protected characteristics such as age, race, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, and disability. We are conveniently located in New York Financial District at 45 Broadway, Suite 620, New York, New York 10006. For more information, please call us at 212-248-7431 or visit www.newyorkcitydiscriminationlawyer.com
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