Sexual harassment is not always about sex.  If you are being harassed at work because of your gender, sexual orientation, or sexual identification, then you may have a claim for sexual harassment.

For example, a co-worker or supervisor who insults or demeans women in the workplace is engaged in sexual harassment, even if his comments are not sexual in nature.  The same is true if a co-worker or supervisor makes derogatory comments about gay people not being qualified or not belonging in the workplace.

The key is that the conduct is directed at you because of your sex, sexual orientation, or sexual identity.  In essence, sexual harassment is a form of discrimination.  It exists when you are harassed because of who you are.  If the harassment affects your terms of employment, unreasonably interferes with your job performance, or creates a work environment that is hostile, offensive, and intimidating, then you may have a claim for significant damages.

Of course, conduct that is sexual in nature is also a form of sexual harassment.  This includes sexual advances, repeated requests for dates, sexually suggestive comments, displays of pornography, rude gestures, unwelcomed physical contact, and demands for sexual favors.  However, words and actions do not have to be sexual in nature to be considered sexual harassment.

When in doubt, talk to an experienced employment lawyer.  Call us at (212) 601-2728 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.