Sexual harassment in the workplace. When it occurs, you can take legal action and pursue compensation. NJ Employment Lawyers, LLC is a New Jersey law firm dedicated to fighting for the rights of individuals impacted in the workplace.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of workplace sexual harassment in New Jersey, you may be entitled to compensation. An employment law attorney at NJ Employment Lawyers can assess your case and advise you on your legal options. For more information, schedule a consultation at NJ Employment Lawyers today.
Understanding Your Options After Sexual Harassment in New Jersey
Workplace discrimination laws make sexual harassment illegal when it happens in the workplace, meaning victims can take legal action.
However, this alone is not a criminal offense. Repeated instances can provide grounds for a restraining order, but when someone sexually harasses you, there are no state or federal laws to hold them responsible.
This means that when you experience workplace sexual harassment, you have two options: seek justice through corporate policies or work with an experienced New Jersey employment lawyer.
Why You Should Work with a New Jersey Employment Law Attorney on Your Claim
There are many reasons why using an employment law attorney may be the safer, more effective way of gaining justice for workplace sexual harassment. First, corporate response to a report can vary by company. While employers have a legal responsibility to respond to employee complaints of harassment, what that response looks like in practice is not always effective.
The perpetrator often simply faces nominal punishment, like a warning or write-up. Depending on the perpetrator’s position and company culture, a victim may not feel that reporting harassment is a safe or effective way of taking action.
Another significant reason for working with a sexual harassment lawyer is the financial outcome legal action can bring. Legal action in the workplace can bring compensation for the victim.
Do I have grounds for a claim?
Sexual harassment can take many forms. Some of the most common examples include:
- Unwanted expressions of romantic or sexual interest
- Unwanted physical contact or sexual conduct
- Unwanted requests for sexual favors
- Overt or suggestive sexual comments
Broadly, any type of unwanted behavior, action, or comment related to sexuality or gender can serve as grounds for a claim. This includes jokes and comments made to or about a third party.
Typically, an isolated comment will not support a claim. A lawyer will need to demonstrate that there is an ongoing pattern of this sort of behavior for a case to be successful. In New Jersey law, this is referred to as “hostile work environment sexual harassment.”
One exception to the requirement of showing a pattern of behavior is quid pro quo sexual harassment. This occurs when a perpetrator overtly attempts to extract sexual favors. They might offer an incentive, like a promotion or pay raise, or threaten a consequence for refusing, like loss of employment.
What is the time limit for taking action over sexual harassment?
Laws dictating actions against workplace sexual harassment in New Jersey are outlined in the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD). You have two years from the date of the incident to take legal action in New Jersey.
LAD also recognizes something called the “continuing violations theory.” When workplace sexual harassment is an ongoing issue, the continuing violation theory allows the time limit of two years to begin at the date of the most recent incident. This can allow victims additional time for taking action.
How Victims Can Fight Back
Each New Jersey employment law attorney at NJ Employment Lawyers helps clients fight back against all forms of workplace sexual harassment. Laws exist to protect individuals in the workplace, but they only work to your benefit if you speak up.
The thought of the consequences of taking legal action against an employer, supervisor, or coworker often brings up emotions of fear and hesitation. It is illegal for an employer to retaliate over a sexual harassment claim. Coming forward may be the only way to ensure that the behavior of a perpetrator does not continue. It can also provide you with compensation for the emotional distress caused by dealing with harassment in the workplace.
No one should have to experience sexual harassment. An attorney may be able to negotiate or win compensation for the harm you suffered, hold the perpetrator accountable, and ensure others do not experience the same treatment. Contact NJ Employment Lawyers today to schedule a consultation discussing how to take action over workplace incidents in New Jersey.