South Jersey Sexual Harassment Lawyers
Every employee has the right to a harassment-free work environment. Workplace sexual harassment is prohibited on both a federal and state level, by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, as well as State Criminal Codes. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) definition of sexual harassment encompasses any unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other behavior of a sexual nature that interferes with an employee’s work performance, implicitly or explicitly impacts employment decisions, or creates a hostile work environment.
South Jersey sexual harassment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C., know that no one should have to tolerate this behavior in the workplace and want workers to understand their rights when it comes to sexual harassment.
Recognizing Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment can take many forms and can be experienced by employees of either gender. An employee may be harassed by their supervisor, a manager from another department, a co-worker, an outside contractor, or even a non-employee on workplace premises. A sexual harassment victim can be anyone adversely affected by the offensive behavior, even if the behavior was not directed specifically toward them.
Offensive behavior can include:
- Lewd remarks, nicknames, or insults
- Sexual propositions
- Unwanted sexual or romantic attention
- Leering, whistling, or suggestive gestures
- Displaying or sending pornographic or sexual content
- Unwelcome contact
- Coerced sexual acts
Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment complaints typically fall into one of two categories. The first is quid pro quo, or “something for something.” Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when a supervisor implicitly or explicitly communicates that a worker’s employment status, pay, promotion, or other employment benefits are contingent on the exchange of sexual favors. The supervisor is essentially threatening the employee with adverse employment consequences, such as a poor review, demotion or termination if the employee does not engage in a sexual relationship.
Quid pro quo sexual harassment complaints can only be made if the harasser is a boss or manager who has authority over the employee’s employment conditions. If the harasser is a co-worker who cannot affect changes to the victim’s pay rate or employment status, he or she may be creating a hostile work environment, but it would not be considered quid pro quo.
Hostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment
Hostile work environment is the second type of sexual harassment complaint. When an employee is subjected to sexual, abusive, or offensive behavior because of his or her gender, this is a form of discrimination and a violation of federal and state law. Offensive behavior can be verbal or physical and does not have to be directed at a particular employee. If the behavior is severe enough to change or alter the working conditions for employees of a certain gender, or in any way interferes with an employee’s ability to perform work functions, that behavior is considered unlawful. Employers have a responsibility to stop this behavior when it occurs, and an employee can bring forth a hostile work environment sexual harassment complaint if they fail to do so.
When investigating claims of hostile work environment sexual harassment, the EEOC considers a number of factors, including the nature of the offensive conduct and how frequently it occurred, as well as any response by management to address the conduct. Each situation is unique and must be considered from the perspective of a reasonable person in the victim’s position. An employee does not have to suffer any negative employment consequences, such as termination or demotion, in order to bring a sexual harassment claim, and are protected from retaliation in the workplace.
South Jersey Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C., Advocate for Workplace Sexual Harassment Victims
If you believe you have been the victim of workplace sexual harassment in New Jersey, call the law offices of Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Our South Jersey harassment lawyers will thoroughly review the facts of your case and determine your legal options. We have the knowledge and experience to aggressively defend your rights through every step of the process, from filing a claim to any necessary litigation.
With offices conveniently located in Center City, Philadelphia, we help workplace harassment victims throughout New Jersey get justice. Call us today at 215-569-1999 or contact us online for a free consultation with a qualified South Jersey sexual harassment lawyer.