Sexual harassment is a very serious issue that can make your life miserable and ruin your career. Your workplace should be a place where you feel comfortable and safe. Unfortunately, despite laws protecting employees against unwelcome actions and behaviors, sexual harassment still occurs in companies across New Jersey and the nation.
If you feel that the conduct of your supervisors or co-workers crossed the line, talk with our experienced sexual harassment attorneys at Shapiro & Sternlieb, LLC today by completing the form on this page or calling (732) 617-8050. We welcome clients from Newark and Jersey City, New Jersey.
What Is Sexual Harassment?
One of the most common types of workplace harassment, sexual harassment is a form of discrimination based on gender or sexual preference. Sexual harassment can affect you whether you are a man or a woman and regardless whether you are homosexual or heterosexual. There are two basic types of sexual harassment: hostile work environment and quid pro quo.
Does Sexual Harassment Have to Be Sexual in Nature?
In the state of New Jersey, sexual harassment need not be sexual in nature. To establish harassment has occurred, the victim must instead prove that thwy were harassed because of their sex or gender. This often requires the assistance of an experienced attorney.
Does Harassment Always Have to Be Perpetrated by a Boss or Other Supervisor?
No. Sexual harassment may come from a supervisor or manager, but it may also come from a co-worker or anyone else in the employ of your company. In the state of New Jersey, sexual harassment may also be perpetrated by a third-party vendor, contractor, or agent of the company.
Do the Victim and Perpetrator Have to Be Opposite Sexes?
No. Sexual harassment can come from anyone, regardless of their sex, regardless of your sex. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, harassment may include “verbal or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual” due to a protected status such as their sex or gender
Hostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment
As it relates to sexual harassment, a hostile work environment is caused by the unwelcome actions and behaviors of supervisors, co-workers, contractors, customers or anyone else who interacts with an individual while on the job. These unwelcome actions can create an unlawful hostile, offensive and intimidating workplace environment.
Examples of conduct that may contribute to a hostile work environment include:
- Unwelcome physical contact
- Lewd or sexual comments
- Indecent gestures
- Inappropriate or disparaging terms or characterizations
- Sexually explicit material
- Crude jokes
- Comments on physical attributes
- Comments on sexual preferences
While sexual harassment is often sexual in nature, it does not have to be. Actions and behavior that relate to chauvinism, gender bias and gender stereotypes can also be considered sexual harassment. Any conduct that is directed at you because of your gender can potentially contribute to a sexually hostile work environment.
Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment
Quid pro quo – "this for that" – sexual harassment refers to situations in which a supervisor or employer says or suggests that you must submit to sexual advances to do things such as:
- Avoid a demotion
- Avoid discipline
- Get a promotion
- Obtain a raise
- Keep your job
Fear of Retaliation for Reporting Sexual Harassment
You may be like thousands of victims who are afraid to report sexual harassment for fear of being demoted, fired or suffering further adverse treatment. It’s important to know that you have rights protecting you against such treatment. Employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees for reporting sexual harassment and other workplace violations.
At Shapiro & Sternlieb, LLC, we understand what a difficult decision it can be to stand up against unlawful acts by your employer. We are prepared to stand by you and support you through every step of your claim in order to obtain the justice you deserve. Doing the right thing is not only important for you, it’s important for the well-being of current and future employees as well.
I Am Not Directly Employed by the Company Where I Was Harassed, Am I Still Covered?
Federal discrimination laws do not allow most contractors or customers to sue for sexual harassment. There are some exceptions for contract workers who are treated as employees, but these are few and far between. The best way to learn if you are eligible to file a sexual harassment lawsuit is by talking to an experienced attorney
What Kind of Compensation Should I Expect?
Depending on the factors unique to your case, you may be entitled to either back pay or front pay following sexual harassment. In some cases, you may be entitled to both. This is something that your attorney will help you determine.
- $50,000 for employers with 15-100 employees
- $100,000 for employers with 101-200 employees
- $200,000 for employers with 201-500 employees
- $300,000 for employers with more than 500 employees
How Should I Prepare for Court?
Your attorney will work with you to gather both direct and circumstantial evidence in the building of your sexual harassment case. Any additional information that may prove useful will also be gathered by your attorney as your case approaches its court date.
Only an estimated three to six percent of sexual harassment claims make it to trial. Having an attorney on your side can help ensure your voice is heard and the best course of action is taken.
Contact Our New Jersey Sexual Harassment Attorneys Today
You don’t have to live with the daily struggle of workplace harassment. If you live in Newark or Jersey City, New Jersey, contact our experienced sexual harassment attorneys today online or at (732) 617-8050 to schedule a free consultation.