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Hostile Work Environment Attorney New York

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Hostile Work Environment Lawyer

While the massive diversity in New York City may help people find a home away from home, it can also lead to discrimination and harrasment. When this happens in the workplace, there is no reason to lie down and take it in stride. 

Contacting an experienced hostile work environment attorney for legal assistance is the best course of action. There are many state and federal laws that can protect you and ensure you receive due compensation for such events. 

Call The Howley Law Firm today at (212) 601-2728 to learn how we can help your case.

What Constitutes as a Hostile Work Environment?

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Hostile work environments occur when someone in your place of employment behaves in a way that makes it difficult or uncomfortable for others to do their job peacefully or safely.

In general, the term “hostile work environment” refers to any discriminatory form of harrasment in your workplace, as prohibited by the law. Aside from federal prohibitions against hostile work environments, the state of New York has its own set of human rights laws to protect employees.

Behaviors that count as harassment and create a hostile work environment in New York include:

  • Inappropriate and unwelcome touching.
  • Sexual jokes or comments.
  • Inappropriate comments about sexual orientation
  • Negative comments about an older person’s appearance or abilities.
  • Unwarranted sexual remarks about a person’s appearance.
  • Physically cornering an employee.
  • Displaying sexually inappropriate images or materials.
  • Demanding sexual favors in exchange for promotions.


There are many other actions or conducts that can create a hostile workplace. The behaviors that constitute a hostile workplace environment are not limited to those of a sexual nature.

Essentially any discrimination or harrasment based on age, gender identity, disability, marital status, religion, race, or citizenship status that interferes with your job performance can make a hostile workplace environment. 

This includes:

  • Any discriminatory actions based on your race.
  • Discriminating against a protected class
  • Racial slurs, expressions, and verbal racial abuse.
  • Comments on one’s status as a domestic violence victim.
  • Display of offensive photos, objects, and other materials.
  • Intimidation, physical threats, or actual assault.


Consulting professional hostile work environment lawyers in NYC can help you understand whether you have the grounds to file a hostile work environment lawsuit.

Contact us today to protect your career and regain peace of mind.

Rights of NYC Employees

Workplace hostility, discrimination, and harassment can come from anyone in the workplace — not just your employer. As per New York state law, employees can file a workplace harassment claim against their supervisor, manager, or even co-worker. 

The New York City Human Rights Law offers employees more protection against workplace harassment, discrimination, and hostility. There are instances of workplace hostility that are otherwise not considered severe enough by federal or state laws but remain valid under NYC laws.

For instance, you are not required to demonstrate the severity or pervasiveness of any harassment claims before presenting your case. Under the NYC Human Rights Law, the severity or pervasiveness is only relevant once you are calculating damages owed.

Learn more about your rights as an NYC employee with the help of one of our experienced hostile work environment attorneys.

Understanding Limitations of NYC Employment Laws

As much as NYC employment and human rights laws strive to protect workers, they have their restrictions. One of the most important considerations is regarding the statute of limitations or the number of times employees have to bring their legal claims forward.

Anyone seeking to file workplace harassment or discrimination claims must do so within 300 days of the incidents allegedly happening. This applies if you are bringing your suit up with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

NYC employees have some leeway as state and city laws give them up to three years to file their lawsuit. However, waiting for the full three years is hardly ever recommended. 

The more time that passes between the alleged incidents resulting in a hostile workplace and the filing of your claims, the harder it is to collect and preserve evidence. It also becomes harder to find witnesses and ensure their cooperation.

Moreover, there are varying statutes of limitations regarding different complaints. For instance, you only have a year to file complaints for defamation and intentional torts. Racial discrimination cases may be filed up to four years after the incident while breach of contract and wage or hour violations can be filed within six years of the event.

Steps to Take When Filing a Hostile Workplace Claim

Hostile work environment claims generally require plaintiffs to provide proof that the offensive conduct happened, as well as proof that it is severe or pervasive. The burden of proof regarding conduct severity or pervasiveness is only waived for sexual misconduct or harassment claims.

If you are experiencing a hostile work environment, the best place to start is by consulting experienced and trustworthy hostile work environment lawyers in NYC.

Below are some steps you may take even before consulting our lawyers to help strengthen your claims:

  • Document each incident promptly. Make sure to include the time and date it happened, as well as a detailed account of the event.
  • Gather evidence. Preserve physical evidence such as notes, texts, or emails by making copies or printing them out. 
  • Look for witnesses. If there are any witnesses, ask them to document what happened and to affix their signature to said document.
  • Review relevant company policies. Our hostile work environment attorneys always advise clients to review the policies or training they received on workplace discrimination and harassment. This will help ensure you follow any outlined process in making formal complaints to further help your case.

Why Choose the Howley Law Firm?

Our attorneys have represented countless clients in various employment cases, both big and small. Our familiarity with the state and city’s labor and human rights laws allows us to provide superior legal representation and help you regain your dignity and career.

As employment lawyers, we handle hostile work environment cases, sexual workplace harassment cases, and more. We can also help you negotiate severance packages, receive due compensatory damages, and receive rightful unpaid wages.

More importantly, our hostile work environment lawyers in NYC will represent clients with strong cases for a contingency fee. If your case is strong enough, we will not charge you for our services unless you win your case and receive payment for damages.

Call The Howley Law Firm at (212) 601-2728 for a consultation.

Hostile Work Environment FAQs

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. Under the NYC Human Rights Law, you have the right to sue if you experience any discrimination or harrasment based on your race, religion, age, disability, and more.

Yes. According to the NYC Human Rights Law, you are eligible to file a lawsuit and sue your employer for damages should you encounter any discrimination, harrasment, or other form of unwelcome conduct in your workplace. Get in touch with an employment law attorney today to get the help you need.

Yes. You can file a lawsuit against your employer and sue them for emotional distress and anxiety arising from any type of discrimination or harrasment you experienced as an employee.