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Sexual Harassment at Off-Site Company Event

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A South Jersey Sexual Harassment Lawyer at The Gold Law Firm P.C. Will Help You Understand Your Rights

When labor takes us beyond the traditional office setting, the lines of professional conduct can become blurred. Off-site company events are intended to build teamwork, network, or celebrate corporate milestones. However, these events are not exempt from the legal and moral codes that govern workplace behavior.

Sexual harassment, a grave issue that plagues many workplaces, does not get an out-of-office automatic reply. It is critical to understand that the protection and rights afforded to individuals within the confines of an office extend with full force to any work-related event.

Defining Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment in the workplace is an affront to an individual’s dignity and rights. It is defined as any unwanted sexual advancement, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that interferes with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment. This definition is not confined to an office building—it carries over to any event sponsored by the employer, including those held off-site.

A work function, regardless of location, is an extension of the workplace. Legal standards set forth by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 apply as strictly at a company retreat, conference, or holiday party as in the familiar backdrop of your daily workspace. Whether the event is held at a local restaurant, a conference hall, or a resort miles away, the law remains unequivocal: sexual harassment is unacceptable.

Recognizing Harassment

Sexual harassment manifests in various forms, ranging from seemingly innocuous comments to overtly aggressive actions.

Imagine a scenario where a supervisor, emboldened by the informal setting, makes unwelcome advances toward a subordinate. This could include persistent invitations to dance or for drinks after the event.

Perhaps a colleague makes derogatory jokes of a sexual nature, ignoring the discomfort it elicits. It might even escalate to non-consensual physical contact, like an unsolicited touch under the guise of a friendly hug. These examples epitomize sexual harassment.

At off-site events, the escape routes are fewer. The inherent expectation to participate might make it more challenging to evade unwelcome attention. Picture a situation where participation in certain activities is deemed essential to career progression, yet during these activities, an employee faces sexual innuendos or inappropriate physical contact. When the line between voluntary and compulsory participation gets blurred, the power dynamics intensify the severity of the harassment.

Your Right to Recourse

Survivors of sexual harassment often carry the burden in silence. They may fear retaliation or believe what happened outside the office cannot be challenged. It is imperative to reject this fallacy. If you have been harassed at a work event, document the occurrence and report it to the relevant authorities or HR department according to your firm’s protocol.

A South Jersey Sexual Harassment Lawyer at The Gold Law Firm P.C. Will Help You Understand Your Rights

The Gold Law Firm P.C. has the experience to navigate the complexities of sexual harassment cases, particularly those arising from off-site company events. We will meticulously dissect the details of your claim. Speak with a South Jersey sexual harassment lawyer today. Call 215-569-1999 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. With offices in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey, we serve clients in South Jersey, including Cherry Hill, Haddonfield, Marlton, Moorestown, and Mount Laurel.

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