It is not uncommon for a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace to remain silent. Not only can a victim lose their job for speaking openly about sexual discrimination and assault, but those who speak out may face legal action despite being a victim of an unacceptable crime. While it may seem like victims of sexual harassment do not have a voice, there are laws in place to protect an employee’s right to speak openly about sexual abuse in the workplace.
Speaking Out Against Sexual Harassment
Federal law protects employees from sexual harassment and discrimination at work under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Despite this, sexual assault in the workplace continues to occur and settlement agreements often work against claims of sexual harassment that are sent to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. While laws are in place to protect employee rights, such as the National Labor Relations Act, which states that employers are not allowed to prevent workers from talking about sexual harassment at work, there are many legal agreements that can silence victims of sexual assault and discrimination. Agreements that can silence victims of sexual harassment include:
- Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA): NDAs, which are often included and agreed upon in initial employment contracts, can be used to enforce silence where sexual harassment claims are concerned. The scope of information that an NDA covers includes confidential information, such as the inner workings and secrets of a company, and information pertaining to employer misconduct.
- Out-of-Court Settlements: Many sexual assault cases are settled out of court, where agreements remain silent in exchange for money. By coming to an agreement this way, a victim can face a lawsuit if they publicly speak out about the incident.
- Arbitration Provisions: Many employment contracts include arbitration provision clauses that require legal proceedings to take place in a private, confidential setting, rather than a public forum. Employers can avoid public scrutiny and often come out on top where sexual harassment cases are concerned.
Many employers censor, threaten, or retaliate against employees that publicize actions of sexual assault and discrimination. Out of fear, victims remain silent and laws that prevent sexual harassment in the workplace remain under-enforced.
South Jersey Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Help Victims Obtain Justice
Sexual harassment in the workplace can happen to any person at any time, ranging from seemingly harmless jokes to unwanted sexual contact. If you or someone you know has experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, call a South Jersey sexual harassment lawyer at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Our team can evaluate your situation and help you seek justice. Contact us online or call us at 215-569-1999 to schedule a free consultation. We proudly serve clients throughout New Jersey.