Princeton Sexual Harassment

Princeton Sexual Harassment

Experienced Employment Attorneys Representing Princeton Residents, Employees and Workers

When you come to work, you expect to be valued for your productivity and the quality of your work and not sexually objectified. If you have been sexually harassed on the job, you are likely feeling a range of negative emotions, including embarrassment and anger. A sexual harassment lawsuit may allow you to recover damages for the wrongs that you have suffered. At Phillips & Associates, our Princeton sexual harassment lawyers can evaluate your situation and help you file suit under federal or state laws as appropriate.

Pursuing a Sexual Harassment Claim

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that is prohibited by Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, as well as the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD). Title VII applies only to employers that have 15 or more employees. The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination applies to all employers in New Jersey.

Sexual harassment may be perpetrated by a manager, supervisor, coworker, client, or customer. It may occur between men and women, between men and men or women and women, or against a transgender worker. The harassment may include any type of unwelcome sexual advances, including explicit remarks, jokes, groping, touching, kissing, repeatedly asking for a date or sex, and innuendoes. Generally, employers are supposed to make sure that sexual harassment does not take place on the job and protect you if it does.

Workplace Sexual Harassment in New Jersey

There are two forms of sexual harassment: hostile work environment and quid pro quo harassment. A Hostile Work Environment exists if a reasonable person, in the victims shoes, would believe that the workplace had become hostile and changed due to frequent or severe instances of sexual harassment. It is not likely that a court will find that a hostile work environment arose from something trivial, such as one offhand remark or joke about sex. However, a single instance of inappropriate touching might be considered severe enough to be considered sexual harassment. Quid pro quo harassment happens if an employer tries to condition your employment, or your employment’s benefits (such as raises, hours, overtime, etc.,) on submitting to the harassment or advances. For example, if your supervisor promises you extra hours if you date him or her, or threatens to demote/fire you if you do not give into his or her demands - that is quid pro quo sexual harassment (whether you give in or not.). Our sexual harassment attorneys can guide Princeton residents through claims based on either quid pro quo or hostile work environment harassment.

In order for an employer to be liable for an employee's sexual harassment of another employee creating a hostile work environment under the New Jersey law, a plaintiff needs to show that the harassing conduct would not have happened but for the employee's sex/gender, it was so severe or pervasive that it would be enough to make a reasonable person believe that the employment conditions had been altered, and the environment was either hostile or abusive. Also, the employee must show that the Company either knew, or should have known, of the harassment. More importantly, you cannot be retaliated against for filing a complaint of sexual harassment.

Consult a Sexual Harassment Lawyer in Princeton or Beyond

Princeton is a New Jersey college town that is equally close to New York City and Philadelphia. Its total area is about 18 square miles. If you believe that you have suffered from sexual harassment on the job, the Princeton sexual harassment attorneys at Phillips & Associates may be able to counsel you and represent you in a lawsuit for damages. Contact us at (866) 229-9441 or through our online form to set up a free appointment. Our employment lawyers help people in communities, such as Passaic, Bergen, Morris, Essex, Union, Hudson, Somerset, Middlesex, Monmouth, Mercer, Burlington and Camden Counties.

Princeton Hostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment
Princeton Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment

Princeton Hostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment

Employment Attorneys Representing Workers in the Princeton Area

Princeton has close to 30,000 residents. It is home to employers such as Capital Healthcare, Berlitz International, Dow Jones & Company, Johnson & Johnson, Rutgers University, and Princeton University. Sexual harassment unfortunately can happen in any workplace. There are two categories of sexual harassment: quid pro quo harassment and hostile work environment harassment. The latter can be committed by anyone in the workplace: a supervisor, manager, coworker, customer, or client. If you faced hostile work environment sexual harassment on the job, you should consult the Princeton sexual harassment lawyers at Phillips & Associates.

Grounds for a Hostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment Claim

To be actionable, hostile work environment harassment must be predicated on abusive conduct that is based on a protected characteristic. Hostile work environment sexual harassment occurs when harassing actions are so severe or so pervasive in the workplace that they alter the terms and conditions of employment and render the work environment hostile and abusive. The harassing actions can include touching, groping, rape, insults, derogatory comments, slurs, pranks, innuendoes, and jokes. These can be performed by either sex. The victim may also be of either sex.

All employers in Princeton should have anti-harassment policies and rules to foster a workplace free of sexual harassment and to allow employees to report their grievances so that future harassing conduct can be prevented and corrective steps can be taken. Unfortunately, not all employers respond appropriately to a hostile work environment claim. If you have been a victim of harassing conduct, you should let the harasser know that the conduct is unwelcome. You should also report it according to the grievance procedures that are set forth in your employment manual. If there are no procedures set out, you should report the harassment to HR both verbally and in writing.

Differences Between Federal and State Laws

Both Title VII and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) prohibit hostile work environment sexual harassment. In most cases, the NJLAD provides greater protection than Title VII does. It applies to all employers, instead of just those with a minimum of 15 employees. There are nuances under federal and state laws, and among these nuances are those found in case law. Conduct must be severe or pervasive enough for you to subjectively believe that the environment has been made hostile and for a reasonable person other than yourself to also believe that. However, what this means can vary under Title VII and NJLAD case law, and it is important to consult an experienced attorney about your specific situation.

Under New Jersey law, the court will look at whether a reasonable person would be offended by the conduct about which you are complaining. When there is a pattern of behavior, it is more likely that you will be able to prove a hostile work environment. It can be more challenging to establish a hostile work environment based on a single or only a couple of incidents because in that case, the conduct must be fairly severe to be actionable. A New Jersey court has stated that it would be a rare and extreme case in which a single episode would be so severe that it would, from a reasonable person’s perspective, render the working environment hostile. In one New Jersey case, a woman was terminated after her supervisor made sexist comments about a group of women customers and also used an obscene slur, but the remark was not directed at the plaintiff and was not repeated. This was not considered severe enough to create a hostile work environment. On the other hand, the test for a hostile work environment was met when a plaintiff's supervisor lifted up her shirt to expose her bra strap, grabbed other women employees in her presence, made sexually offensive remarks, and told her to use her sexuality to persuade a new boss to do something.

Consult an Experienced Sexual Harassment Lawyer in the Princeton Area

If you have faced hostile work environment sexual harassment on the job, the Princeton attorneys at Phillips & Associates are ready to offer aggressive, experienced representation. Contact us at (866) 229-9441 or via our online form for a free appointment to discuss your case.

100 Overlook Center, 2nd Floor
Princeton, NJ 08540
Tel: (866) 229-9441 

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