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The attorneys at the Bongiorno Law Firm, PLLC, have recovered millions of dollars for clients who have been killed, seriously injured or disabled as a result of negligent and wrongful conduct of others.

The Bongiorno Law Firm-New York Personal Injury Attorneys

Sexual Harassment Verdict Shows New York’s Triple-Layered Framework

 Sexual Harassment Verdict Shows New York's Triple-Layered Framework  


The recent outcome in a New York City sexual harassment case demonstrates the multiple legal layers created by federal, state and local law in the Empire State. As is often the case in sexual harassment suits, the facts in question were far from clear. The events leading up to the suit focused on a young lawyer starting out her career who claimed that an established partner in the firm targeted her and others for untoward advances over the course of several months. The events culminated in a holiday party sexual encounter between the new associate and the firm's rainmaker, the consensual nature of which was heavily disputed.


One out of three?


As is often the case in similar  sexual harassment lawsuits, the plaintiff's complaint alleged violations of federal, state, and New York City law. Since each level of law provides its own definition of proscribed conduct, the plaintiff was required to meet different statutory standards in order to prevail. In this case, the plaintiff was only able to prove her sexual harassment claims under New York City law, failing to meet the standards under federal and state law, all of which are described in greater detail below.


Federal Sexual Harassment Law: The Civil Rights Act of 1964


Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, among other federal laws, sexual harassment qualifies as  sex discrimination when it involves "unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature" that "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." Under federal law, the key inquiry is whether the complained of conduct was severe or pervasive.


New York Law


The state of New York has its own statute under which sexual harassment is illegal. This law defines sexual harassment as "a form of gender-based discrimination ... involv[ing] unwelcome sexual conduct that: [i]s used as the basis for hiring or other employment decisions, such as promotions, raises or job assignments; or [c]reates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment."


In addition, sexual harassment is also illegal under the New York City Human Rights Law, which sets a lower bar for employees seeking to prove their cases. Contrary to state and federal law, even behavior that is not severe or pervasive may be deemed sexual harassment under the NYC standard if an individual "has been treated less well than other employees because of her gender." Under this standard, the employer bears the burden of proving that the offensive behavior wasn't significant enough to warrant liability.



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Construction Accidents Victims Rights

Justice for All: Construction Accident Victims Have Rights

When a 27-year-old Jersey City man headed into Manhattan early one morning last fall, he had no idea that a tragic construction accident would claim his life just hours later. The victim was hard at work helping convert a parking lot into a massive new Midtown hotel when a giant piece of concrete came loose, pinning the worker beneath the slab. While workers rushed to the scene and valiantly tried to save the man's life, they were unable to free him while he was still alive.


On construction sites, taking risks with safety can be fatal


As is the case in many other New York construction accidents, the worksite in question had already been cited by officials for safety violations. In this case, only a month earlier the construction site was completely shut down, which was not the first complaint that required investigation. In a contemporaneous report in The New York Times, the practices of the construction site's owner were called into question noting that he has been criticized by community boards and unions for his "risky and freewheeling" business and construction methods. With more than 200 building violations since 2006, the construction company owner's safety record certainly leaves much to be desired.


Permanent disabilities


Serious construction accidents don't always result in fatalities, frequently leaving victims permanently disabled with life-changing injuries. Not least of all, many construction accident victims are unable to continuing working in the same capacity, with their earning capacity diminished or completely eliminated. Those who have been injured at work due to the negligence of contractors, construction companies, and other parties are entitled to compensation.


Injured works and their families need caring advocates


While New York's workers' compensation laws generally prevent employees and their families from suing employers, there are often a number of other third parties that may be legally responsible for construction site accidents. Such parties include manufacturers of defective or malfunctioning machinery, property owners, and contractors. Without the assistance of vigilant legal counsel, injured workers and their families may not receive the compensation to which they are entitled under the law.


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For a laborer who sustained a broken leg because of improperly stacked sheetrock.


For a woman who suffered foot injuries resulting from a car accident.


 For a pedestrian who was knocked down by a car and required back surgery.


For foot injuries sustained by a woman who tripped on a walkway outside of a supermarket.


For a woman who was burned by steam from a defective radiator in her apartment.

$125,000 and $175,000

For a couple who sustained back and neck injuries in a car accident.


For a woman who suffered multiple injuries when her car was hit head on by a vehicle traveling in the wrong direction.


For a shoulder injury caused by a car accident.


For an iron worker who injured his Achilles heel when a pallet jack rolled down a ramp at the World Trade Center construction site.


For a man who sustained back injuries due to a car accident.


For a woman who sustained back injuries caused by a car accident.


For a woman who injured her shoulder in a car accident.


For a mentally and physically disabled boy who was inadequately supervised while attending a school for special children.


Obtained for a young man who slipped and fell on snow and ice at a car wash resulting in a fractured tibia/fibula.


Obtained for a man who sustained shoulder injuries as a result of a motor vehicle accident.


Obtained for a construction worker who sustained injuries to his foot as a result of defendant's violations of New York State Labor Laws on the construction site.


Obtained for a young woman who sustained knee injuries in an auto accident.

Attorney advertisement. The results of previous cases with particular facts and law. Therefore The Bongiorno Law Firm does not, cannot and will not make any guarantee, promise or warranty that the outcome of your case will be the same or similar to previous results. Every case is different. Results in prior cases do not guarantee same.

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Area of Practice:

The Bongiorno Law Firm represents clients in:

All 5 boros, New York City, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island, Nassau County, Suffolk County, Upstate New York, Monroe County, Broom County, Dutchess County, Ulster County, Sullivan County, Putnam County, Buffalo, Erie, Albany, Westchester and Rockland Counties.

For a free consultation call 1.800.348.5724 or Click Here



For catastrophic burn injuries due to accidental fire in building with electrical violations.

$11 Million

Obtained for a construction worker who sustained an amputated leg as a result of defendants' violation of several New York State Labor Laws at the construction site.

$2 Million

Reached during trial for our client who sustained erectile dysfunction as a result of a fall caused by the fault of the New York City Transit Authority and the Metropolitan Transit Authority.

$1.9 Million

Obtained for construction worker whose foot and ankle were crushed when a lull forklift dropped a 2500 lb bundle of rebar onto his leg.


For a construction worker that sustained injuries on the job when his lower leg was ran over by an excavation machine.


For a young man that suffered head injuries when his car hit a tree after the car dealership that balanced his tires failed to properly reattach his front tire.


For a woman that was sexually abused by a police officer in the precinct.


For a woman who was run over by a car and suffered a broken ankle.


For an epileptic woman that fell out of a window that the landlord failed to equip with protective bars.


For a man struck by an automobile that suffered a fractured leg.


For a man that needed back surgery after an automobile accident at intersection with missing stop sign.


For a trip and fall accident that caused a fractured leg.


For a man that suffered a back injury due to a defective ladder.

Attorney advertisement. The results of previous cases with particular facts and law. Therefore The Bongiorno Law Firm does not, cannot and will not make any guarantee, promise or warranty that the outcome of your case will be the same or similar to previous results. Every case is different. Results in prior cases do not guarantee same.