Subject to Sexual Harassment in the Workplace in New Jersey? An Overview of the Remedies that May be Available
Sexual harassment remains a serious issue in the workplace. The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) estimates that nearly 40 percent of women and 15 of men have been subject to sexual harassment in the workplace. Sexual harassment victims deserve justice. If you were subject to harassment while on the job, you have the right to pursue legal action. A number of different remedies may be available. Within this article, our New Jersey workplace sexual harassment lawyer provides an in-depth overview of the remedies that may be available to victims.
Broadly explained, equitable relief is a non-monetary remedy that may be available in some sexual harassment claims in New Jersey. To be clear, equitable relief can be a very important remedy for the victim of workplace sexual harassment. For example, imagine that you were forced to leave a position because the sexual harassment was unbearable. You may be eligible for reinstatement to your former position as a form of non-monetary relief. Equitable relief can also include other measures, such as a requirement that an employer develop and implement a new sexual harassment prevention policy.
Back pay is compensation awarded for lost earnings as a result of sexual harassment. Among other things, the term “back pay” can include wages, salary, or benefits that you would have earned from the time of the discriminatory act to the resolution of the complaint. Remember, sexual harassment is inherently a form of sex-based discrimination in New Jersey.
Compensatory damages may also be recovered as part of a sexual harassment lawsuit in New Jersey. In this context, the term compensatory damages includes both economic and non-economic costs. The economic costs are designed to reimburse a sexual harassment for out-of-pocket expenses caused by the harassment, such as costs associated with job search or medical expenses. Non-economic costs compensate for non-monetary harm, such as emotional distress and suffering. New Jersey law recognizes the pain and trauma that sexual harassment can inflict on a person.
Attorneys’ Fee and Court Costs
In many cases involving sexual harassment, New Jersey courts may order the offending party to pay the victim’s attorney fees and court costs. Indeed, you may be entitled to compensation for the full extent of your attorneys’ fees and other legal costs. This is significant as it removes the financial barrier that may prevent some victims from seeking justice.
Punitive Damages (Limited Remedy)
Punitive damages are awarded in cases of particularly egregious or malicious conduct to punish the offender and deter similar conduct in the future. In New Jersey, punitive damages are a limited remedy in sexual harassment cases and are only awarded when the employer’s conduct was especially harmful or reckless. Under New Jersey law, these damages are capped at either five times the amount of compensatory damages or $350,000, whichever amount is greater.
Consult With Our New Jersey Employment Attorney Today
At Poulos LoPiccolo PC, our New Jersey employment lawyer is standing by, ready to protect your rights and your interests. Were you a victim of workplace sexual harassment, our legal team can help. Call us now or connect with us online for your strictly private case review. From our office in Monmouth County, we represent employees in sexual harassment cases throughout New Jersey.