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Lawmakers Considering Bill To Allow Sexual Assault Workers’ Comp Claims


Even though many companies mandate training on harassment in the workplace, sexual assault is still a common issue. In fact, statistics show that more than half of women in the workforce have experienced it at some point. Although anyone can be a victim, women are much more likely to be affected.

Victims in New York may soon have another remedy for workplace sexual assault. State lawmakers are considering legislation that would make sexual assault in the workplace compensable under workers’ compensation law.

S.B. 5698 was introduced in March and sent to the Labor Committee. Under the bill, injuries from a sexual offense would be compensable under workers’ compensation law. It would allow an employee to pursue any other remedies available at law. The bill also clarifies that workers’ compensation should be an exclusive remedy except when the employee suffers personal injury due to a sexual offense by a coworker.

Texas is considering a similar bill. The state would permit lawsuits from sexual assault victims under certain conditions.

If passed, this law would simplify sexual assault cases in the workplace. In the past, a victim would have to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and/or hire a lawyer to help with their claim.

Sexual Harassment vs. Sexual Assault

Sexual harassment is similar to sexual assault, but not exactly the same thing. It involves unwelcome comments of a sexual nature, as well as requests for sexual favors. Sending sexual texts, making crude remarks or demanding sexual favors in exchange for work-related benefits are common examples.

Sexual assault, on the other hand, is defined as any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the recipient’s consent. This includes rape, although there does not need to be any penetration involved. Fondling and inappropriate touching can also be classified as sexual assault.

Impact of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Sexual harassment impacts not only the victim but also the workplace as a whole. The effects are damaging. Employees who experience sexual harassment are more likely to have sumptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression. They are more likely to have sleep problems, headaches, and other physical symptoms.

Sexual harassment can also impact other employees. Those who witnessed it may suffer from mental effects. This can lead to decreased employee morale. Also, businesses can face financial costs associated with harassment complaints. They may also see decreased employee productivity and reputational harm.

Contact Us for More Information About Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Workers’ compensation benefits can help employees who have been injured by a variety of incidents in the workplace. With sexual assault a common issue, this bill will be helpful to victims.

If you have been injured in the workplace, make sure you get the benefits you are entitled to receive. A White Plains workers’ compensation lawyer from The Law Office of Michael Lawrence Varon can assist you with the process. To schedule a free initial consultation, fill out the online form or call (914) 228-1770.



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