New Jersey Law Strongly Prohibits Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Sexual harassment can take many forms, but is generally defined as any unwanted sexual behavior in the workplace. Verbal comments of a sexual nature, sexual advances, sexually inappropriate language, and requests for sexual favors in return for an employee’s employment status are examples of sexual harassment.
There are generally two types of sexual harassment. The first is “quid pro quo” harassment when an employer or supervisor makes sexual demands a condition of employment. Thus, an employee may perceive that he or she must tolerate and give into the sexual advances in order to continue employment, to advance in employment, or to avoid negative or adverse employment consequences, such as poor evaluations. Additionally, an employer may not condition favorable treatment, such as promotions, increased compensation, or better work assignments in exchange for sexual advances.
Female and male employees who have been threatened with demotion, termination, suspension, negative performance evaluations, or other work sanctions if they do not engage in sexual acts with their supervisor or manager are victims of sexual harassment.
The second type of sexual harassment is a “hostile work environment” where an employee is subjected to sexual, abusive or offensive conduct because of his or her gender. Such conduct includes physical touching, or sexually explicit comments, invasive questions about one’s sex life, or sexual jokes that a reasonable person would object to or find intolerable. We often meet with clients who are the victims of “sexting” i.e. unwelcomed sexually suggestive photographs or text messages.
The Atlantic County sexual harassment lawyers at Levine Staller have helped many clients who have been subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace. Our team of experienced employment lawyers work tirelessly to protect the legal rights of clients and help them achieve the justice to which they are entitled.
What to do if you Have Been Sexually Harassed at Work
Employees who believe they have been sexually harassed at work should first follow company policy (if any exists) for reporting such behavior. If no policy exists, report it to your immediate supervisor, preferably in writing or if not in writing document your report. If your immediate supervisor is your harasser, report it to his or her supervisor.
The federal and New Jersey state laws against sexual harassment are specific and intended to protect employees from suffering sexual harassment of any kind in the workplace. An experienced and knowledgeable lawyer can gather pertinent information to prove that the sexual harassment took place, and claim compensation for the victim’s losses.
If the employee was terminated as a result of their sexual harassment, or if they were pushed out of their job because they reported the behavior, they may be able to collect back pay as well as compensation for wages they would have earned if they had not been terminated. Punitive damages can be recovered in some cases for the emotional turmoil and stress that resulted from the illegal actions.
Atlantic County Employment Lawyers at Levine Staller Represent Victims of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
If you believe you are a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, call the experienced Atlantic County sexual harassment lawyers at Levine, Staller, Sklar, Chan & Brown, P.A. at 609-348-1300, or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. Our offices are located in Atlantic City, New Jersey and serve clients in Atlantic City, Atlantic County, Ocean County, and Cape May County.