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Sexual Harassment Explained
Sexual harassment includes any unwelcome and unwanted conduct that is sexual in nature. By law, it is considered a form of discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines sexual harassment as any “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when submission to or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.”
For a person’s conduct to be construed as sexual harassment, the victim must make it known that their actions are unwanted and must cease immediately. If the harasser does not stop, the victim may seek help from a supervisor. If still, nothing is done to correct the situation, victims may seek legal help.
Examples of Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment can include anything from a mild joke to a serious physical attack. Regardless of the individual circumstances, sexual harassment is prohibited by New Jersey state law and anyone found guilty will be held accountable for their actions. The following are a few examples of sexual misconduct at a workplace.
• Lew comments or jokes regarding a person’s appearance, body, or general sexual statement
• Quid pro quo (this for that) sexual requests, in which someone is offered a promotion, raise or other benefit in exchange for sexual favors
• Inappropriate touching, which includes hugging, kissing, groping, or fondling
• Email or letter that is sexual in nature
• Photographs that are sexually inappropriate
• Constant propositions for a date/sex
• Physical attack (hitting, shoving, rape)
Victims vs. Harassers
Anyone can be the victim of sexual harassment in New Jersey. Victims may be of any gender, age, race, religious background or sexual orientation, and so can the harasser. The sexual offender can be a person’s supervisor, co-worker or even someone that doesn’t even work at the victim’s agency.
In order to file a sexual harassment complaint, a victim doesn’t have to be directly affected by the perpetrator’s actions. Anyone who finds another person’s behavior to be offensive may be entitled to file a sexual harassment complaint.
Laws in New Jersey Against Sexual Harassment
Anyone who has been the victim of sexual harassment in New Jersey has a right to file a claim. Victims have had their rights violated under both federal law and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) and may seek legal help. The state’s Division of Civil Rights of the Department of Law and Public Safety is responsible for enforcing sexual harassment laws. Victims should contact this office for more information regarding the procedure to file a complaint.
In addition, retaliation against anyone who has brought up allegations of sexual harassment at the workplace is illegal by both state and federal law. Employers may not fire someone, demote them, reassign them to a less desirable position, or affect the victim’s job in any negative way to get back at them for filing sexual harassment charges. All New Jersey employers must carry out a thorough investigation of any sexual harassment allegations and must cooperate with any federal investigations as well.
Victims of sexual harassment also have a choice as to whether or not they may contact a lawyer for assistance. Since sexual harassment claims are very delicate and can completely change both the victim and offender’s lives, hiring a sexual harassment lawyer is a good idea to ensure that the case runs quickly and smoothly and ends with the best possible outcome.
Hiring a Sexual Harassment Attorney
Everyone is entitled to work in a safe environment, free of offensive behavior, aggression and harassment. If you or someone you know has been targeted by a sexual offender, you have a legal right to ensure that the perpetrator is apprehended and that the offensive and unwanted behaviors cease immediately. Speak to a top sexual harassment lawyer in New Jersey to ensure that your rights are upheld and that justice is served.
The victims of sexual harassment may be entitled to money damages for their pain and suffering. If you have been hurt by a sexual offender, rest assured that your sexual harassment attorney will not rest until you obtain the full compensation you deserve.
Sexual harassment lawyers dedicate themselves to victims’ cases to ensure that the unwanted behavior never happens again. Talk to a skilled sexual harassment attorney in New Jersey right away to put an end to the harassment and ensure that the workplace becomes secure once more.