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Sexual Harassment Claim for Secret "Upskirt" Photos

As smartphones become ubiquitous, it is becoming increasingly hard to tell whether someone is just talking to a friend or instead, stalking you. It is a problem in the workplace as well, as a lawsuit filed earlier this month illustrates.

Wanda Tate-Linton, an African-American employee of the New Jersey Transit Corp has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the company, alleging that her supervisor took clandestine, so-called upskirt photos and retaliated against her when he found out she sought to report him.

In the lawsuit, filed on July 3 in a Pennsylvania federal court, the Philadelphia woman claims she experienced sexual harassment and that New Jersey Transit senior employees failed to protect her when she reported it. She said the public transit company violated the Federal Employers Liability Act and federal sexual discrimination laws when it allowed the harassment to continue. The lawsuit also alleges that Tate-Linton was subjected to retaliation when her supervisor found out that she was making inquiries regarding her right to be free from the harassment.

As a result of the trauma stemming from the misconduct and the hostile work environment, the Tate-Linton was forced to take a number of days off, and the suit claims that she was cause serious emotional and financial harms with physical manifestations, some of which may be permanent. She is asking for compensatory and punitive damages.

Harassment is a form of employment discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, (ADEA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, (ADA).

Harassment is unwelcome conduct that is based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. Harassment becomes unlawful where 1) enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of continued employment, or 2) the conduct is severe or pervasive enough to create a work environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive. Anti-discrimination laws also prohibit harassment against individuals in retaliation for filing a discrimination charge, testifying, or participating in any way in an investigation, proceeding, or lawsuit under these laws; or opposing employment practices that they reasonably believe discriminate against individuals, in violation of these laws.

Offensive conduct may include, but is not limited to, offensive jokes, slurs, epithets or name calling, physical assaults or threats, intimidation, ridicule or mockery, insults or put-downs, offensive objects or pictures, and interference with work performance.

The employer will be liable for harassment by non-supervisory employees or non-employees over whom it has control (e.g., independent contractors or customers on the premises), if it knew, or should have known about the harassment and failed to take prompt and appropriate corrective action.

If you have been sexually harassed at your New York place of employment, contact the attorneys at Schwartz and Perry LLP.

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