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When gender harassment isn't gender harassment

New York residents may know that sex discrimination in the workplace is banned by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. However, it isn't always clear what the definition of sex is under that statute. According to one court ruling from the Northern District of New York, a male police officer who sent text messages to his ex-girlfriend was not harassing her based on sex.

This is because the judge found that the harassing behavior was a result of disappointment regarding the end of the relationship. While the judge found the messages to be unwelcome, they could not construed as having been motivated specifically because of her sex. While the ruling may be confusing to employers, they can protect themselves by having comprehensive policies banning sexual harassment or harassment of any kind. It may also be a good idea to stay informed on how courts are interpreting sex as it relates to employment law.

If a worker is retaliated against after making a claim of harassment, his or her employer may be liable for a variety of damages. It may be possible for a worker to obtain compensation for back pay plus interest if he or she is terminated. It may also be possible to seek reinstatement if it is found that a worker was wrongfully terminated because of employer retaliation.

An attorney may be able to help an individual who believes that he or she was treated in an illegal manner by an employer. Legal counsel may point to performance reviews shortly after a claim was made to show that retaliation took place. It may also be possible to point to text messages, phone calls or other communications as proof that a person was harassed or otherwise exposed to a hostile work environment.

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The Law Offices of Jeffrey E. Goldman
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