New Jersey Sexual Harassment Lawyer
After decades of sexual harassment laws and court cases, even after the #MeToo movement and increased public awareness about sexual harassment and willingness to speak out and come forward, sexual harassment still occurs in the workplace several times a day in New Jersey and across the country. If you are sexually harassed at work, you can do something about it, and Poulos LoPiccolo can help. Our New Jersey employment law attorneys can pursue a claim on your behalf, including filing a lawsuit if necessary, and reverse any harmful job actions you have experienced while recovering significant compensation for the financial and emotional harm you have suffered. Let us help you protect your rights and hold your employer accountable for fostering sexual harassment or failing to stop it. Contact our experienced New Jersey sexual harassment lawyers today.
Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment
Quid pro quo sexual harassment refers to the “classic” case of sexual harassment in the workplace, where a supervisor promises favorable treatment to an employee in exchange for sexual favors, dating or a romantic relationship, or else threatens termination or other adverse consequences for failing to comply. Employees can rightfully feel intimidated by these actions and not know where to turn. Employers should have a policy in place prohibiting quid pro quo sexual harassment and a means for employees to bypass their supervisor and complain directly to upper management. Regardless of how the company responds to a complaint, they can be held liable for the actions of their supervisory, managerial, or executive employees who sexually harass subordinates.
Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment
A hostile work environment is created when an employee is subjected to unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that is so severe and pervasive that it makes the workplace feel like a hostile, intimidating, threatening or dangerous place to be. Actions that can create a hostile environment include groping or other offensive or unwelcome touching, suggestive comments, displaying sexual images, making repeated sexual advances, telling dirty jokes, graffiti, and more. Employers can be held liable for hostile work environments created by supervisory staff as well as co-workers or even customers. It’s the employer’s responsibility to have a policy in place that defines sexual harassment, prohibits such conduct, and provides a way for employees to complain. Managerial employees should be trained on how to receive complaints, conduct an appropriate investigation, take appropriate action, and communicate the results of an investigation to the complainant. Failing to take these steps can subject the employer to liability for failing to prevent or correct a hostile work environment.
Both kinds of sexual harassment – quid pro quo and hostile work environment – can be committed by a male upon a female or by a female upon a male. The courts have also upheld same-sex sexual harassment claims where a man was sexually harassed by a man or a woman was sexually harassed by a woman. In addition, the Supreme Court has also held that harassment based on sexual orientation or sexual identity, including transgender identity, is unlawful as well.
How Poulos LoPiccolo Can Help With Sexual Harassment Claims in Ocean, New Jersey
If you feel you are being or have been sexually harassed at work, your first step should usually be to report the conduct to your employer, following any policy or procedure they have. If you are not satisfied with their response, you can file a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR). The agency should conduct an investigation and decide whether to pursue an enforcement action against the employer. If they don’t complete their investigation within the required time frame or they decide against taking any action, you can obtain a “right to sue” letter that lets you pursue your sexual harassment claim in court. Remedies can include reinstatement if you were terminated or reversing other adverse employment actions, as well as recovering money damages for any economic harm you suffered plus compensation for your emotional distress. Our experienced employment law attorneys can guide you through the complaint process, advise you on which agency or court to file with, and represent you in any legal proceedings to hold your employer accountable and recover a full and fair amount of compensation.
New Jersey Sexual Harassment Lawyers Serving Ocean, Monmouth & Middlesex County
Sexual harassment is only one form of harassment prohibited by laws such as Title VII and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination. Employers can be held liable for harassment based on race, religion or age, and other laws protect employees from other sex or gender-based discrimination as well, including pay disparities or discrimination based on pregnancy or breastfeeding. Our NJ employment law attorneys can represent you in any of these areas, including retaliation claims if you are fired or mistreated for making a complaint. Call our experienced New Jersey sexual harassment lawyers today for a free consultation to discuss your claims and find out how we can help.