Employer Liability in Sexual Harassment CasesMay 23, 2023
Workplace sexual harassment is a serious issue that affects many employees. It refers to any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, or any other behavior of a sexual nature that creates a hostile work environment. Unfortunately, sexual harassment is not uncommon in the workplace. However, many small business owners are not aware of the legal implications that come with it.
Sexual harassment can take many forms, and it can be difficult to recognize. It can include unwanted touching or physical contact, making sexually suggestive remarks, telling sexual jokes, comments about someone’s appearance, or displaying sexually explicit images in the workplace. For example, if an employee receives unwelcome sexual advances or unwanted touching from a coworker, this would be considered sexual harassment.
Employers can be held liable for the actions of their employees if they knew or reasonably should have known about the harassment and failed to take appropriate action. This means that employers have a responsibility to prevent sexual harassment from occurring in the workplace and to take prompt action when they receive a complaint. If an employer fails to do so, they may face legal action for their inaction.
A harasser can also be held liable for sexual harassment. Employees who experience sexual harassment are not required to sue their employer, they can also sue the individual who harassed them. This means that employers need to be aware of the risks of hiring individuals with a history of sexual harassment. They can also implement policies and procedures to prevent sexual harassment from occurring by training employees on appropriate workplace behavior and responding quickly to any complaints of harassment.
Employers have several sources of liability when it comes to sexual harassment cases. First, they can be held liable for the actions of their employees, as previously discussed. Second, they can be held liable for their own actions if they contribute to a hostile work environment. This can include failing to take action after receiving a complaint, retaliating against an employee who reports the harassment, or simply creating an environment that is conducive to harassment.
Finally, employers can be held liable for harassment that occurs outside of the traditional workplace. For example, if an employer sends sexually explicit text messages to an employee outside of work hours and the employee finds this behavior offensive, this can still be considered sexual harassment, and the employer can be held liable.
Contact Our South Jersey Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. for Help
If you have been sexually harassed in the workplace, speak with our South Jersey sexual harassment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. today. Call us at 215-569-1999 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients in South Jersey, including Cherry Hill, Haddonfield, Marlton, Moorestown, and Mount Laurel.