Thousands of people file complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and similar agencies regarding allegations of unlawful sexual harassment in the workplace. Unfortunately, many more victims of sexual harassment will fail to report the incident, so the numbers of victims may actually be much higher. If you have suffered sexual harassment at work and you do not know where to turn for help, do not hesitate to call us now. We don’t charge for a consultation and we can advise you of your legal rights as a harassment victim and can help you take appropriate action to remedy the situation.
Signs of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Both Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) both prohibit any employers from discriminating against employees based on their sex. Sex discrimination also encompasses discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression. If any type of unlawful discrimination occurs, the victim has the legal right to seek financial recovery for lost wages, emotional distress, and more.
One common form of sex discrimination is sexual harassment, which can include many different behaviors. Because sexual harassment can take many different forms, it can be difficult to know for sure when you have been harassed as defined by the law. Therefore, call us today for a FREE consultation and let us help you.
Some common examples of sexual harassment can include:
- Offensive sexual comments or jokes
- Unwanted sexual advances
- Showing you obscene photos or drawings
- Unwanted touching or sexual assault
- Any other offensive sexually-related behaviors
Not every off-color remark or joke in the workplace will rise to the level of unlawful harassment, however. Instead, the law has certain criteria to determine when behavior constitutes unlawful sexual harassment. There are two main categories of sexual harassment and the following are brief descriptions of each.
Quid Pro Quo Harassment – In this situation, your boss or another person with authority makes sexual demands and threatens your continued employment if you do not submit to those demands. This type of harassment is considered to be so serious that only one instance of such demands will likely be enough for you to seek legal recourse.
Hostile Work Environment – If your harassment claim is based on lewd comments or similarly offensive actions, one instance will likely not be enough to win a harassment claim. Instead, the behavior must be pervasive or offensive enough to create a hostile work environment. In addition, the existence of a hostile work environment is not subjective – instead, a reasonable person in your situation would have to find the situation to be intimidating or hostile in order to win a claim. It is important to know that this type of sexual harassment does not have to involve sexually-explicit comments or behaviors. Instead, the comments could be offensive against women in general or based on an employee’s sexual orientation.
Hire representation for your Sexual Harassment Case
If you believe that you have been the victim of either quid pro quo sexual harassment or of a hostile work environment, you should not delay in discussing your rights and options with our experienced lawyers. No one should have to work every day in a hostile or offensive situation and we will fight for your rights to be free from harassment and to recover for any losses you sustained.
We will work to hold your employer liable for your harassment whenever possible. If your boss engaged in quid pro quo harassment, your employer can be found automatically liable for any harm caused. On the other hand, if you are claiming that you endured a hostile work environment, you will have to show the following for your employer to be liable:
- You took advantage of any opportunities to prevent or correct the behavior by filing complaints or reports through the proper channels.
- Your employer did not take prompt and appropriate steps to prevent the harassment from continuing.
In addition, if you complain of sexual harassment and your employer retaliates against you with discipline, demotion, termination, or any other adverse employment action, the company can be held liable for unlawful retaliation.
Contact a NJ Sexual Harassment Attorney to Discuss Your Situation
You should never be expected to endure sexual harassment at work. If you have been a victim or if your employer is not taking proper steps to rectify the situation, you should call us at Salomon & Aquino, LLC as soon as possible. Please fill out our online contact form or call us today at (973) 278-1124 for a FREE 30-minute consultation.