More information is needed to assess the merits of any claim against the potential defendant in this matter.
You reference a contract with the individual. Certainly, a competent employment attorney will want to review that document. Generally, there are two types of sexual harassment cases - hostile work environment and quid pro quo. More information is needed to determine which one applies. Please be advised that their are administrative requirements before proceeding with a sexual harassment case. You will need to file an eeoc charge within 180 days of the termination of your employment. The EEOC will conduct it's own investigation. They may issue what is called a right to sue letter - and thereafter, you will have a very limited window in which you can file a complaint.
A few questions: were you an employee of the individual who harassed you or were you in a contractual relationship (providing services and paid as an independent contractor?) Was this individual your supervisor? Did you ever voice an objection to the conduct in writing or to your the human resources department (if applicable?)
I highly suggest reaching out to an employment attorney as soon as possible.
You don't give any facts.
I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 577-9797 or via email at Eric@RothsteinLawNY.com. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.
If you were working with a written contract, alot will depend on whether you were legally an employee, or you had your own consulting business which he paid. I recommend that you consult with an employment lawyer to review the written contract and discuss the actual work conditions you experienced.
It doesn't sound as if you were an employee, but rather were in independent contractor. Accordingly, you don't have a sexual discrimination claim. That said, the right attorney will take your case, and file a breach of contract/intentional infliction of emotional distress claim, which will absolutely cause the client to sit up, take notice, and likely open up his wallet. It will be your word against his but my guess is it won't be too hard to find corroborating witnesses. You can be certain that this jerk did the same thing with others. Please read my disclaimer
If you'd like to discuss, please feel free to call. Jeff Gold Gold, Benes, LLP 1854 Bellmore Ave Bellmore, NY 11710 Telephone -516.512.6333 Email - Jgold@goldbenes.com
You may wish to read the recent Salamon case, whereby the court opened the door to claims from independent contractors:
We are sorry to hear that you are in this situation. You may have a claim for sexual harassment and gender discrimination under the City Human Rights Law if you performed your work within one of the five boroughs of New York City. There is good case law under the City Human Rights Law holding that independent contractors fall under the protection of the City Human Rights Law, if they are natural persons who carry out work in furtherance of an employer’s business enterprise.
You should seek a consultation with an experienced employment lawyer ASAP, who will evaluate whether the organization has the minimum number of employees or independent contractors to be subject to the City Human Rights Law, and then advise you on the best way to gather witness statements and other evidence in support of your allegations. Once this is done, said lawyer will advise you on whether it makes sense to go straight to court and file a lawsuit, or perhaps file a charge with an administrative agency first.
If it turns out that the organization doesn’t have the minimum number of individuals to be subject to the City Human Rights Law, you may still have a case under a certain federal statute, which prohibits harassment in a contractual relationship, under specific circumstances.
-Denise K. Bonnaig, Esq.