New York Workplace Sexual Assault Lawyer
Sexual harassment in the workplace is a widespread problem. While many high-profile cases involving celebrities, government officials, and other well-known individuals have been discussed in the media, workplace sexual harassment impacts every type of workplace and every level of employment. In some instances the harassment takes the form of lewd comments, inappropriate jokes, and asking for dates, creating a hostile workplace. Far too often the harassment goes beyond words to violent sexual contact. Being sexually assaulted is one of the most horrific things that anyone can experience. If you were sexually assaulted while at work, you have the right to justice. Contact an experienced New York workplace sexual assault lawyer at Stephen Bilkis & Associates. With over 20 years of experience helping injured victims win substantial compensation, we can help you get the justice you deserve.Reporting Workplace Sexual Assault
In general, sexual assault is an underreported crime. Those who are sexually assaulted experience trauma that oftentimes results in an inability to immediately share the details of the assault with law enforcement or even close friends and family. When it occurs in the workplace or when the assailant is the victim’s boss or co-worker, there are additional barriers to reporting the assault. Victims of workplace sexual assault often worry about retaliation. Despite the horrific experience of being sexually assaulted, some victims are concerned about the financial impact on their family if they report the assault and lose their jobs. Others fear not being believed. If the assailant is someone in a position of power, victims fear that the more powerful person would be believed. As a result of the victim failing to report or failing to report right away, many sexual predators are never investigated by their employers or by law enforcement. Many victims never receive justice.
Under the 2022 Adult Survivors Act, victims who feared speaking up in the past have another chance to speak up and hold their attackers accountable. Recognizing the barriers to reporting workplace sexual assault, the law allows victims of sexual assault to bring personal injury lawsuits against their assailants despite the fact that the statute of limitations has passed. To be eligible under the Adult Survivors Act, the following conditions must be present.
- The plaintiff must have been a victim of an eligible offense under N.Y. Pen. Law § 130 et seq., such as rape, forcible touching, or facilitating a sex offense with a controlled substance.
- The victim must have been at least 18 years old when the sexual assault occurred. There was similar relief to victims of child sexual assault under the 2019 Child Victims Act.
- The statute of limitations must have expired on bringing civil action. If the assault occurred recently, the Adult Survivors Act would not apply because victims are not time-barred from filing claims. They still have the opportunity to seek relief and should immediately contact an experienced New York workplace sexual assault lawyer at Stephen Bilkis & Associates.
Note that the opportunity to seek justice under the Adult Survivors Act is limited. Victims must file their lawsuits between November 24, 2022 and November 23, 2023. Otherwise, the victims would again be bound by the statute of limitations that applied when the sexual assault occurred.Liability for Workplace Sexual Assault
The defendant in a civil lawsuit for workplace sexual assault would be the person who assaulted the victim. The basis for the claim would be that by committing the criminal offense of rape, forcible touching, etc., the defendant also committed an intentional tort, which is a wrongful action that brings civil liability.
Other defendants in a civil action for workplace sexual assault may be the assailant’s employer if they could have taken action to prevent the sexual assault. For example, workplace sexual assault is sometimes preceded by a pattern of other types of sexual harassment. If the assailant’s supervisor knew the victim was being sexually harassed by the assailant and did nothing about it, and then the assailant assaulted the victim, the supervisor would likely be liable.
The employer may also be liable if:
- They failed to conduct a thorough background check on the assailant that would have uncovered a history of sexual harassment or violence.
- The victim reported the sexual assault and the employer failed to properly investigate it.
To understand more about employer liability, contact an experienced workplace sexual assault attorney in New York.Compensation Available to Victims
While the victim of workplace sexual assault may have suffered physical injuries, they may also experience significant emotional trauma. Compensation would be based on evidence of the out-of-pocket expenses for medical treatment for both physical and emotional injuries. In addition, if the victim was unable to work or lost their job as a result of the attack, they would be entitled to lost wages or loss of future earning capacity compensation.
The victim may also be compensated for pain and suffering as a result of the sexual assault that may be evidenced by permanent disfigurement, depression, anxiety, PTSD, intimacy issues, or other mental health issues. Moreover, the court may award the victim punitive damages should it find that the conduct of the defendant was outrageous. Not surprisingly, punitive damages are often awarded in sexual assault cases.Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates Today
If you were sexually assaulted by your boss or a coworker, you deserve justice. Even if the assault occurred a long time ago, now is the time to come forward and file a claim. After the November 23, 2023 deadline passes, your claim will again be time-barred and will not be allowed. With over 20 years of experience winning substantial compensation for victims, the workplace sexual assault attorneys serving New York at Stephen Bilkis & Associates can help. Contact us today at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Nassau County, Suffolk County, Long Island, and Westchester County.