Every person has a right to work in an environment that is free from unwelcome sexual advances or sexist behavior. Sadly, however, many employers do not protect the rights of their employees, and many workers are unduly subjected to sexual harassment. Sexual harassment not only creates a hostile environment, but it can also result in adverse employment actions and financial harm. If you have been the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, you can speak to legal counsel regarding what claims you may be able to pursue to protect your interests. At Resnick Law Group, our New Jersey sexual harassment lawyers are skilled at handling sexual harassment claims, and we can work diligently to help you pursue any damages you may be able to recover from your employer. We regularly assist employees in lawsuits in New Jersey and in New York.What Constitutes Sexual Harassment
Broadly speaking, unwelcome sexist comments or behavior, physical or verbal conduct that is sexual in nature, sexual advances, and requests for sexual favors constitute sexual harassment. Employees may be sexually harassed by their boss, but they can also be sexually harassed by co-workers or other people in the workplace. Additionally, the gender and sexual orientation of the harasser and the victim do not matter, as anyone can be sexually harassed. Generally, sexual harassment is either hostile work environment harassment or quid pro quo harassment.Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment
Quid pro quo essentially means to get something in exchange for something else. Thus, quid pro quo harassment occurs when a person of authority ties the terms of a person’s employment to sexual favors. In other words, quid pro quo harassment occurs when an employee is required to engage in sexual activity to keep his or her job or obtain a promotion or raise. The person of authority may be the owner of the company, a manager, or anyone else with a supervisory role over the employee. Our sexual harassment attorneys can assist New Jersey employees in seeking damages via quid pro quo claims. We would need to show that an employee was subjected to unwelcome sexual harassment, based upon his or her sex, and that the sexual harassment affected the conditions or terms of his or her employment.Hostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment
Hostile work environment harassment happens when a person is subject to unwelcome conduct in the workplace due to his or her gender or sexual orientation. The conduct must be so pervasive and severe that a reasonable individual would believe that it altered the conditions of the person’s employment, resulting in an abusive or hostile work environment.
A wide array of conduct may create a hostile work environment. For example, sexist or sexual remarks, gestures, emails, and text messages, and sharing or viewing pornography may create a hostile work environment. Additionally, unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and comments regarding a person’s body or physical appearance may be considered grounds for a hostile work environment claim as well. In sum, any unwelcome conduct that is sexual, sexually motivated, or sexist may fall under the umbrella of sexual harassment, and if the conduct is persistent and severe, it may serve as the basis for a hostile work environment claim. A seasoned New Jersey sexual harassment attorney can evaluate whether the conduct in question in your case potentially created a hostile work environment.Pursuing Damages for Sexual Harassment
Hostile work environment and quid pro quo sexual harassment are both prohibited under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) and Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964. The LAD allows an employee pursuing a claim in state court to seek damages for pain and suffering and attorneys' fees. In some cases, the employee may be awarded punitive damages as well.Meet with a Knowledgeable Employment Lawyer in New Jersey
Employers who engage in sexual harassment or allow employees to be sexually harassed in the workplace should be held accountable. If you were sexually harassed in your workplace, you can meet with an employment attorney to discuss your rights. At Resnick Law Group, we have the skills and experience needed to help you seek to hold your employer liable for your harm. Our office is located in Roseland, and our sexual harassment lawyers assist employees across New Jersey, including in Bergen, Essex, Passaic, Morris, Hudson, Somerset, Hunterdon, Warren, Middlesex, Union, Sussex, Monmouth, and Mercer Counties. We have an office in Manhattan as well and represent people in employment cases in New York City and Rockland and Westchester Counties. We can be reached through our form online by contacting us at our Roseland office by calling (973) 781-1204 or at our New York office by calling (646) 867-7997 to schedule a conference.