Sexual harassment in New Jersey is unwanted physical contact or comments against an employee or job applicant by a company CEO, supervisor or manager, fellow employee, associate, or client or non-employee. This type of conduct is prohibited by law and if you are a victim of workplace sexual harassment you deserve justice. For the past 25 years, the attorneys at Derek Smith Law Group have helped employees of workplace sexual harassment in New Jersey get the justice they deserve.
Different Types of Sexual Harassment Cases We Handle:
- Hostile Work Environment
- Quid Pro Quo
- Unwelcome Request For Sex
- Sexism in the Workplace
- Sexual Bribery
- Sexual Gift-Giving at Work
- Sexual Harassment by a Supervisor
- Workplace Sexual Coercion
- Non-Employee Sexual Harassment
- Gay and Lesbian Sexual Harassment
- Sexual Harassment at Off-Site Events
- Stalking in the Workplace
- Criminal Sexual Conduct
- Sexual Joking
- Co-Worker Sexual Harassment
- Sexual Orientation Harassment
- Unwanted Physical Contact
- Same-Sex Sexual Harassment
- Sexual Harassment at Office Holiday Parties
Sexual harassment in the New Jersey workplace is the unwanted physical contact or comments made to or about an employee or job applicant that makes it unbearable to continue working in the employment environment. This type of behavior can be performed by the CEO of a company, supervisor or manager, fellow employee or co-worker, business associate, client, or other non-employee. Sexual harassment:
- Is a form of gender discrimination
- Can be between people of the same sex
- Can occur outside of the workplace, such as a work-sponsored event or function
- Can be written or verbal
- Can be a video, comic strip, joke, or general comment
- It can be sexist comments such as “the woman’s place is in the kitchen” or “women are better at shopping than working.”
- Can be retaliation for refusing sexual advances
- Can occur at any point during a relationship
- It can include gender-based terms, such as “Sweetheart,” “Hun,” “Honey,” “Babe,” etc.
Sexual harassment claims in New Jersey are placed into two categories: quid pro quo and hostile work environment.
- Quid pro quo. This type of claim means “this for that.” In other words, this is a favor or advantage granted or expected in return for a favor or “a favor for a favor.” A quid pro quo claim is when a CEO, supervisor, manager, client, or even a fellow employee, makes a sexual advance that they expect to be accepted because they are offering positive working conditions as a result. For example, a fellow employee can offer another employee the opportunity to take co-chair on a project in return for sexual favors. Retaliation can also be a quid pro quo action wherein an employee is treated unfairly because he or she did not accept the sexual advances.
- Hostile Work Environment. This is unwanted sexual acts or comments that make working unbearable. This can be consistent jokes about gender or sex, continual touching that do not fall under the quid pro quo category. The key with a hostile work environment scenario is that the employee or job applicant must make it clear that the comments and contact are unwanted to either the harasser or a supervisor and the behavior continues.
Federal and New Jersey state laws protect employees from sexual harassment in the workplace. The federal law which protects employees is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This law prohibits employers of 15 or more people, supervisors or managers, co-workers, clients, and non-employees from sexually harassing an employee or job applicant.
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) prohibits employers of any size and their supervisors or managers, other employees, clients, and non-employees from sexually harassing an employee or job applicant.
Evidence can make or break your case for workplace sexual harassment in New Jersey. The more evidence you have, the better your case will be. Keeping well-documented notes can be the difference between a win and a loss. Document:
- Each specific incident, including the time and date of the harassment
- the people directly and indirectly involved in the sexual harassment
- All offensive conversations or remarks, who made them, who they were made to
- Emails or memos you have received
- Complaints you made, when, to whom, what you said
- The response to your complaint
- Any reactions to the alleged sexual harassment
- How the incident made you feel
- How the incident affected work performance
- How the incident affected your general well-being
Sexual harassment does not have to be just physical contact or criminal sexual acts. Sexual harassment in the workplace in New Jersey can come in many forms. Here are some examples of workplace sexual harassment in New Jersey:
- Refusal to hire a person because of gender
- Wrongful termination of a person because of gender or sex
- Retaliation against an employee who refuses sexual advances
- Unwelcomed physical contact
- Unwelcomed sexual advances
- Sexually explicit jokes
- Sexually explicit emails or statements
- Sharing pornography or erotica
- Continually asking an employee or co-worker for a date even after he or she refuses
- Criminal sexual acts, such as rape
- Sexual gifts
- Gay and Lesbian sexual advances
- Same sex sexual harassment
- Sexual orientation harassment
- Sexist comments, such as stereotypes or using sexist names for others
- Using offensive language towards a gender
- Spreading false statements or stories about an employee or job applicant that refused sexual advances
- Sexual bribery
- Sexual Coercion
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) oversees any Title VII claims. According to the EEOC, a victim of sexual harassment has a time limit of 300 days to file a claim in New Jersey for sexual harassment in the workplace. Once the EEOC receives the claim, they will conduct an investigation to determine if there is enough evidence to present a claim for sexual harassment under Title VII and issue a Right to Sue letter to the plaintiff.
The New Jersey Division of Civil Rights (DCR) oversees any LAD cases. The DCR gives a time limit of 2 years for an employee to file a claim of workplace sexual harassment in New Jersey.
If you are the victim of sexual harassment in New Jersey, it would make sense that you are interested in receiving justice through the courts. Some of the remedies available for sexual harassment benefits include:
• Reinstatement of employment
• Reinstatement of benefits
• Back pay
• Future pay
• Reimbursement of medical expenses
• Reimbursement of benefit premiums
• Reimbursement of other related expenses
• Attorney’s fees
• Reassignment or termination of harasser
• Pain and Suffering
• Emotional Distress
• Punitive damages which are damages meant to “punish” the employer and prevent the employer from permitting the same conduct in the future. Punitive damages are determined, in part, by the gross profits of the company, the nature of the action, and whether this is a first offense.
A sexual harassment lawsuit involves a process that can take 4 to 6 months to 1 year or longer, depending on several factors relating to the employer and his or her defense. If your employer is willing to negotiate a settlement in good faith and offer a fair figure to settle the case before it reaches a trial, the process may take as little as 4 to 6 months from the date of receiving the Right to Sue letter.
However, some employers will not offer settlements that are fair or refuse to settle the case at all. If that is the case, you will have to go to trial. Trial can take a year or longer for the preparation and discovery. Once you get to go in front of the judge and/or jury, you may need an additional few days to several weeks until a judgment is entered for your case.
1. Contact a New Jersey sexual harassment attorney immediately.
2. If you have not been fired or quit, do not quit. This can hurt your case.
3. If your company has an HR department, file a complaint.
4. If your company has a policy or procedure to deal with sexual harassment, follow it. This will help your case.
5. Speak up and make it clear that the harassment is not acceptable, and you do not want it to continue.
6. Document everything. Make sure to note every incident, when and where it occurred, who was involved, and any witnesses to the incident.
No employee or job applicant should be subject to sexual harassment in any employment decision, whether it be hiring, firing, benefits, training, compensation, promotions, or any other employment issue. If you have been the victim of sexual harassment in New Jersey, the experienced attorneys at Derek Smith Law Group can help. Contact us at (973) 388-8625 for a free consultation. We do not collect any payment until you win your case.