A female employee experiencing hostile work environment

You have the right to go to work without facing sexual hostility or sexual harassment from your employer or coworkers. You also have the right to take action when it happens. New Jersey law enables workers who experience a hostile work environment to seek compensation for their losses.

If you’ve found yourself in a hostile work environment due to this type of harassment, New Jersey Employment Lawyers, LLC can help. We’ve aided countless clients in recovering their dignity as well as financial restitution for their losses. Reach out to our office today to learn how we can be of service.

Do I Have a Valid Claim For a Hostile Work Environment Based On Sexual Harassment?

According to New Jersey law, a hostile work environment must be characterized by unwanted and unsolicited sexual conduct from one person to another for a sexual harassment claim to be considered valid.

Types of behavior that might provide a basis for a hostile work environment sexual harassment claim include:

  • Sexual remarks
  • Sexist remarks
  • Sexual gestures or signs
  • Vulgar or suggestive handwritten or electronic communications
  • Unwanted or unsolicited touching
  • Direct sexual requests or advances
  • Sexual attacks

In general, any type of behavior that’s sexual or sexist in any way might substantiate a claim of sexual harassment in the workplace. However, a single act is typically not enough to sustain a claim — the behavior in question must be pervasive, regular, and continually unwanted.

Furthermore, the victim’s gender must be the sole reason for the harassment, and a hostile work environment (according to the perceptions of any reasonable person) must be present.

That said, there have been instances where courts have held that a single incident was enough to constitute sex harassment in the workplace.

Liability for Sexual Harassment Claims

Your employer must maintain a safe workplace for all of its employees. The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) mandates that the employer bears full responsibility for preventing sexual and other forms of discrimination and can be held liable for legal damages.

Employers are strictly liable for equitable damages, such as job reinstatement. There’s no need for the victim to prove any bad acts on the employer’s part. However, the victim must bring a case based on negligence or recklessness for other damages. 

As such, any worker experiencing sexual harassment should schedule a free consultation with a sexual harassment attorney immediately.

Proving a hostile work environment case is complex. If you’ve been harmed due to continued unwanted sexual advances or other detestable behavior, our hostile work environment attorney can help you get justice.

Direct Supervisor Misconduct

If a manager or supervisor engages in sexual harassment directly, they or their employer can be held liable for damages. The employer might also be liable if one employee sexually harasses another while acting on behalf of a superior.

Employee Conduct and Employer Negligence

Even if a manager or supervisor played no part in the sexual harassment, the employer might still be held liable if it’s demonstrated that they failed to provide a reasonably safe workplace. There are various ways of accomplishing this, including:

  • Conducting background checks for potential employees
  • Implementing effective anti-harassment policies
  • Providing anti-sexual harassment training
  • Responding to complaints of sexual harassment

Employers may face serious financial liability if they fail to adequately protect their employees.

Damages for Hostile Workplace Sexual Harassment Claims

In addition to equitable damages, you may be entitled to the following monetary damages:

  • Compensatory damages, such as lost wages
  • Emotional distress
  • Punitive damages

Punitive damages are only awarded in cases where the defendant acted maliciously or in wanton or willful disregard for their employee’s rights.

What to Do if You’re Facing Sexual Harassment at Work

It’s your employer’s job to protect you and their other workers from a hostile work environment. However, reporting the matter may not be enough to remedy the situation, especially if you’ve already suffered damages.

After taking up the matter with your employer, document the abuse as carefully as possible. You can do this by capturing photos or videos of abusive acts or results and saving unwelcome sexual communications, including text messages, emails, and handwritten notes.

Once you’ve compiled a compelling body of evidence, seek the services of an experienced sexual harassment attorney. 

What Is The Statute of Limitations For Hostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment?

The statute of limitations for hostile work environment sexual harassment claims is two years. This legal time limit essentially means that you forfeit your right to make a claim after two years have passed since the most recent incident.

Contact Our New Jersey Hostile Work Environment Lawyer Today

If you’re faced with a hostile work environment, it’s important to act quickly. The number of victims of sexual or sexist activity in the workplace is alarming. Sadly, many fail to seek justice until it’s too late.

Contact our office today to get help secure the compensation you deserve. Our experienced sexual harassment attorneys are prepared to sit down with you and walk you through what comes next.