Can I sue for sexual harassment if I am a consultant for a company?

By Jack Tuckner, Esq.

Can you sue for sexual harassment if you’re a consultant for a company? Well, let’s define our terms. If by consultant, we mean that you are what’s known as an independent contractor, meaning that your company pays you on an IRS form 1099, as opposed to an IRS form W-2, which all employees of companies that are salaried–that have taxes taken out—that’s how they are paid, then under federal law, no, you’re not covered. You’re not considered an employee, and you have no protections against sexual harassment or any other kind of discriminatory harassment.

But if you work in certain states, I believe that the list of the states has now grown to 11 states in the United States, including New York where this firm is based, New Jersey, Maryland, California, DC, Vermont, there’s a number of states, easy to look it up, find out whether your state protects independent contractors or consultants, then yes, you’re fully protected.

For example, in New York, if you are an independent contractor or consultant for a company, you are protected (just the same as if you were an employee of that company) from sexual harassment or any other kind of discriminatory harassment for that matter.

If you have any questions about your own situation and want to discuss it in total confidence and free of charge for the initial conversation, contact this firm, Tuckner, Sipser, Weinstock & Sipser, again based in New York City, and we’ll set up that consultation in order to see how we may be able to assist you. Take care.