If I had a consensual affair with a partner at the law firm I work for was fired, can I sue for sexual harassment?

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If I had a consensual affair with a partner at the law firm I work for was fired, can I sue for sexual harassment?

The other partner of the law firm fired me when it was found out. The partner I was/am involved with wants to rehire me but the other partner insisted I remain fired. I am told that I cannot be fired for this or it is sexual harassment.

Asked on September 28, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

It may be sexual discrimination or harassment--much depends on the specific facts, such as the extent of the power differential, whether the partner you had the affair with made any promises or threats to get you to engage in an intimate relationship with him or not, who initiated the affair, etc. To use two very different examples if he initiated the affair and implied or even outright stated that it would help your career, that is harassment if you initiated it and there was never any suggestion or use of his power to get you to engage in it, it may not be. An affair with a partner is not automatically sexual harassment or discrimination but certainly could be it would be well worth your while to consult in detail about the situation, to see if you do have a claim and what it might be worth.


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