Trusted Advice For Sexual Harassment And Gender Discrimination Matters

No worker should have to face sexual harassment or gender discrimination in the workplace. All too often, however, co-workers, supervisors and managers engage in inappropriate behavior, which is illegal under New York state and federal laws.

I am Joseph Gawlowicz, Attorney. I am committed to advocating for the needs of workers in central and western New York in sexual harassment and gender discrimination cases. No matter how complex or serious your case is, I will help you determine the best course of action in a safe, respectful and confidential environment.

The first questions to ask when faced with sexual harassment or gender discrimination are:

  • What are my rights?
  • How do I protect myself and my rights?

While these are simple questions, at first, the answers often are not because the laws and procedures that apply to a given situation vary depending on the facts. Let me guide you through what can sometimes seem like a maze of rules and procedures on the way to resolution and justice.

Sexual Harassment

Recent developments have brought to light just how prevalent sexual harassment is in the workplace in New York. The #MeToo movement is becoming a powerful force in our society for challenging bad behavior at work. Have you been the subject of unwelcome lewd comments or sexual advances? Have you been groped, pinched, patted or worse? I can help.

Common types of sexual harassment essentially fall into two primary classes:

  • Quid pro quo ("this for that"): Someone at work, typically a supervisor but maybe a co-worker, offers employment benefits in exchange for sexual favors.
  • Hostile work environment: Co-workers make overt sexual comments and/or crude jokes or engage in unwanted and offensive sexual gestures or conduct.

No one should have to put up with such abuse, especially at work where it is illegal under state and federal law. Both of these forms of sexual harassment are serious matters. I am committed to taking the appropriate actions to hold harassers — and employers that enable them — accountable for their actions.

Gender Discrimination

Gender discrimination means being treated differently because of one's gender.

Does your employer pay men more than women for the same work? Does your employer maintain a "boys' club" that promotes and treats men better than women? Does your employer punish women for the same sort of behavior it would reward men for? Does your employer foster gender-based stereotypes regarding male or female, conduct, dress or behavior?

If you have been treated differently than others because of your gender, there are ways to fight back.

How Do You Fight Back?

First, contact a skilled employment attorney. There are many complex legal issues unique to every case. I can educate you about your legal rights, and guide you through the processes needed to assert and defend them.

It's important to know that in most cases of harassment, discrimination or retaliation, a victim must file an administrative claim either with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the New York State Division of Human Rights prior to filing a lawsuit in court. Strict time limits apply to different types of cases, depending on the protected class implicated. It's important to file your claim on time, and in many cases as soon as possible, in order to preserve your rights. These agencies conduct initial investigations about whether something illegal has occurred. They also often provide a mechanism and incentive for employers to try to resolve a matter.

Otherwise, these steps lead to fighting the matter through a lawsuit in court. Again, strict rules and time limits will apply. But I treat every case and deal with every employer as though it will be tried before a jury. Employers should know the risks that they face if they do not take the matter seriously, if they allow the conduct to continue and if they do not provide appropriate compensation to victims. Once in court, numerous tactics and strategies will apply, depending on the facts of your case. Contact me to learn more about your unique case.

Contact My Office For A Free Initial Phone Consultation

Victims of sexual harassment and gender discrimination deserve tough, experienced legal representation. I am a lawyer with a comprehensive understanding of discrimination law and will work to pursue justice on your behalf. Discuss your situation with me during a free initial phone consultation at 585-340-7766. I also welcome your questions via email.

If you need to speak with me in person, I may be able to come to you if you cannot come to my Rochester office.