Phillips & Associates

New Jersey Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment

Employment Lawyers Advocating for Workers in New Jersey

Workplace sexual harassment is illegal under federal and state laws in New Jersey, which is the 11th-most populated state in the country. Generally, sexual harassment comes in two forms: quid pro quo sexual harassment and hostile work environment sexual harassment. "Quid pro quo" means "this for that." If you believe that you were a victim of quid pro quo sexual harassment, you should consult the New Jersey sexual harassment lawyers at Phillips & Associates.

Situations Involving Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment

Quid pro quo sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination. Generally, it is more easily identified than hostile work environment harassment. Quid pro quo sexual harassment happens when an authority figure in the workplace tries to exchange a work benefit for a sexual favor. The harasser can be of either sex.

This type of harassment can happen in many different ways. For example, if your manager says that he will promote you if you have sex with him, this is quid pro quo sexual harassment. Similarly, if your supervisor says that he will fire you or demote you if you do not go on a date with him, this is also quid pro quo sexual harassment.

Legal Claims Based on Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment

In order to recover damages for quid pro quo harassment, your attorney will need to start taking legal action before the statute of limitations period runs out. Once that period is concluded, your claim will be time-barred. Both the federal Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination prohibit quid pro quo harassment.

Under Title VII, when an employee is coerced into submitting to unwanted sexual advances in order to get a job benefit, other qualified employees denied the benefit may be able to prove that sex was a condition for the benefit or that it was necessary to grant sexual favors as a member of their gender, and this condition would not have been imposed on the other gender. For example, in one Title VII case, the court found a Title VII violation because granting sexual favors was a condition for the promotion, even though the woman who was getting preferential treatment was engaged in a consensual affair. In that case, there was evidence that the supervisor had telephoned several female employees to proposition them, among other problematic conduct.

State Law on Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment

Your employer can also be held liable under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) for quid pro quo sexual harassment. An employer may be strictly liable for sexual harassment by a supervisor or manager with regard to equitable remedies. However, it can also be held vicariously liable for compensatory damages for sexual harassment by a supervisor or manager. To prove vicarious liability, your attorney will need to show that the employer gave authority to the supervisor or manager to control the situation about which you are complaining, the supervisor exercised the authority given, the exercise of authority resulted in an NJLAD violation, and the authority provided by the employer helped the supervisor harass the plaintiff.

However, NJLAD case law states that as long as an employer has not taken an adverse tangible employment action against you, the employer can avoid vicarious liability by proving that it used reasonable care to stop and correct the behavior, and you unreasonably failed to take advantage of preventive or corrective measures provided by the employer. All workers should be entitled to do their jobs without being subject to quid pro quo propositions. Damages that you may be able to recover if you bring a lawsuit include back wages, front pay or reinstatement, medical expenses, emotional distress damages, attorneys' fees, and sometimes punitive damages.

Seek Guidance from a Sexual Harassment Lawyer in New Jersey

It is wrong for your employer to base its decisions about your job on whether you are willing or not willing to provide sexual favors. There are important differences between state and federal laws, and you should consult an experienced attorney for legal counsel and representation. The New Jersey attorneys at Phillips & Associates can provide aggressive advocacy. Contact us at (609) 722-7315 or via our online form to set up a free consultation. We help clients in Jersey City, Paterson, Hackensack, and Newark, as well as other areas of Passaic, Bergen, Morris, Essex, Hudson, Union, Somerset, Monmouth, Middlesex, Mercer, Burlington, and Camden Counties.

100 Overlook Center, 2nd Floor
Princeton, NJ 08540
Tel: 609-722-7315

Managing Partner in New Jersey - Bryan Arce

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