At the office of Gould & Berg in White Plains, NY, people come and tell us that they are being harassed on the job by a fellow employee and the question that is asked is if I can take action against the employer and can I also take action against the employee. We ask a series of questions when someone reports this to us including who is the employee? Is this employee at a higher level in the company or this person just in the next cubicle from you? We also ask how many employees your employer has because again in state law, an employer can be sued with four or more employees under federal law we need fifteen employees. The employer can be sued if there is a report of harassment and the employer takes no action to stop it. I might add that the action to stop the harassment doesn't need to be a termination of the harasser; it can be merely speaking to the harasser or writing the harasser up taking other forms of discipline as long as the harassment stops. In some instances where there is a high level employee who is doing the harassment there is the ability to proceed against the individual as an aster and better particularly under New York state law but those instances frankly are rare and what you are really going to be looking at absent is sexual assault by the individual is proceeding is proceeding against the employer.
This informational blog post was provided by Kim Berg, an experienced New York Employment Attorney.