Harassment is the act of systematic and/or continued unwanted and annoying actions of one party or a group, including threats and demands. The purposes may vary, including racial prejudice, personal malice, an attempt to force someone to quit a job or grant sexual favors, apply illegal pressure to collect a bill, or merely gain sadistic pleasure from making someone fearful or anxious. Such activities may be the basis for a lawsuit if due to discrimination based on race or sex, a violation on the statutory limitations on collection agencies, involve revenge by an ex-spouse, or be shown to be a form of blackmail (“I’ll stop bothering you, if you’ll go to bed with me”). The victim may file a petition for a “stay away” (restraining) order, intended to prevent contact by the offensive party. A systematic pattern of harassment by an employee against another worker may subject the employer to a lawsuit for failure to protect the worker. It refers to a broad number of behaviors that are subject to both criminal punishment and civil liability. On the criminal side, states have a wide variety of criminal laws forbidding harassment in many forms, including general harassment crimes as well as specific forms of harassment, such as stalking and cyber stalking.
Under New York law, Harassment and Aggravated Harassment don’t involve the physical harming of another person—that would be an assault. But these crimes do involve putting someone in fear. And putting someone in fear for their safety is considered a serious thing. The penalties for these offenses, therefore, can seem particularly harsh. Your harassment attorney in Law offices of Neil Weissman can be your best resource if your rights have been violated. Our harassment lawyers offer extensive knowledge and experience, and have a successful track record representing victims of harassment. They will aggressively pursue your best interests in court and help ensure your constitutional rights are protected at every stage of the game.