NY School Teacher Awarded $5M for Sexual Harassment Retaliation Claim

A Long Island New York school teacher and Dean of Students was awarded $5 million after the principal of her school sexually harassed her – then fired her after she filed a complaint.

New York sexual harassment

According to news reports, Cheryl Farb was a teacher and the Dean of Students at the Baldwin Middle School on Long Island. The principal of the school, James Brown, sexually harassed her by using sexist and derogatory language. She filed a complaint about Brown's behavior and was fired shortly afterward. She then filed a retaliation lawsuit against Brown and the school district and a jury awarded her $5 million in compensation. Brown was ordered to pay $1 million of that award and the school district will pay the remaining $4 million.

What is sexual harassment?

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), sexual harassment is a form of discrimination that may include:

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual's employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual's work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act

Sexual harassment violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII applies to employers with 15 or more employees, including state and local governments. It also applies to employment agencies and to labor organizations, as well as to the federal government.

Millions of dollars recovered every year

The EEOC says that it received nearly 14,000 complaints of sexual harassment in fiscal year 2008 and that it recovered nearly $50 million in monetary benefits for those who complained – and that does not include monies received through litigation. For additional information on sexual harassment from the EEOC, please click here.

If you've been sexually harassed in violation of Title VII, contact an experienced New York sexual harassment law attorney to discuss your situation and evaluate your options as filing a claim with the EEOC first is required in most situations.