Sexual abuse in the workplace occurs more than you may realize. In New York, employers have a responsibility to provide a safe work environment for their employees. This means workplaces are expected to be free of known hazards that could injure workers, including abuse. Although this concept is often applied to areas such as the physical features of a building or office equipment, it also includes employee conduct. When an employee has engaged in sexually abusive or inappropriate behavior, employers are responsible for addressing the conduct in a manner that helps keep the environment safe for other staff members. If an employee is sexually abused or assaulted under these conditions, it raises the question: Can an employer be held liable for sexual abuse personal injury?
The Adult Survivors Act
On May 24, Governor Kathy Hochul signed New York’s Adult Survivors Act (ASA) into law. The ASA provides sexual assault and abuse survivors a one-year window beginning in November to file suit against their abusers for previously time-barred claims. The new law applies to individuals who were over 18 when the abuse took place. In addition, the ASA provides that survivors can pursue claims not only against their abusers but also against any entity that enabled the abuse through what they did or failed to do. This includes employers, governmental entities, and other companies.
Sexual Assault and Abuse Statues of Limitations
Before the ASA’s passage, New York enacted laws that significantly extended the statute of limitations for numerous sexual abuse-related offenses. Often, survivors need time to manage and cope with their emotional reactions to the pain of their experience. This change expanded the time frame for pursuing sexual abuse-related claims and brought them into greater alignment with how survivors process trauma.
Employer Liability for Sexual Abuse Personal Injury
Employers are responsible for addressing known sexual harassment and abuse in the workplace. Further, supposed someone in a position of power, such as a CEO or program director, assaults an employee. In that case, there may be cause to hold a business liable for the abusive conduct. Employers can also be held accountable for failing to address an employee’s behavior when it knew or should have known about the issue. There may also be grounds to pursue a sexual abuse personal liability claim because an employer failed to conduct proper background checks on employees, provide proper sexual harassment and abuse education and training, or address safety issues on its property.
People who have been sexually abused or assaulted can suffer significant physical and emotional injuries. When abuse occurs in the workplace or the abuser is a co-worker, survivors may face harassment and wrongful termination in addition to the trauma of their experience.
If you have been sexually assaulted or abused, you have a right to hold the abuser and the institutions responsible for your harm accountable. However, establishing a sexual assault personal injury claim can be emotional and complex. Therefore, it’s important that you have the guidance and support of an experienced sexual abuse personal injury attorney throughout the process. Your sexual abuse personal injury attorney will be there to help you navigate the stages of the case, gather the evidence you need to establish your claim, and help you get the damages you need and deserve.
Contact an Experienced Sexual Abuse Injury Attorney
If you’ve been the victim of rape, sexual abuse, or other sexual violence, you want an experienced and compassionate sexual abuse injury attorney on your side. Bonina & Bonina, PC understand the importance of helping sexual violence survivors get the help they need for their trauma. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se Habla Español.