Sexual Comments in New Jersey
Sexual comments in workplaces are prohibited by federal and state laws. While a single comment may not be actionable, repeated sexual comments are likely to be considered illegal sexual harassment. When you are a recipient of sexual comments, you may have grounds to sue your employer for sexual harassment. (This may also be true in some instances if you witness sexual comments made to someone else, although these claims are more complicated.) It is important to secure knowledgeable legal counsel before bringing a complaint. The New Jersey sexual harassment lawyers at Phillips & Associates have experience fighting for workers who have been subjected to unlawful workplace sexual harassment.Sexual Comments in New Jersey
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which applies to companies and organizations that have at least 15 employees, prohibits sexual harassment as a form of sex discrimination. The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination outlaws sexual harassment even when there is only one employee, so it covers a broader range of employers. Workplace sexual harassment includes any unwelcome sexual advances or actions that unreasonably interfere with job performance or generate a hostile work environment. Sexual comments may create a hostile work environment.Hostile Work Environment
Sexual comments may be direct or general. In other words, they may include comments about a specific worker's body, or they may include general comments about sex. Whether an isolated incident is viewed as harassment depends on the specific comments and context.
However, if your manager or coworkers make repeated sexual comments that make you uncomfortable, or the comments are serious or frequent enough to create a work environment that a reasonable person would find intimidating or abusive, the comments are likely to be sexual harassment. The comments must be unwelcome. The situation will be viewed as a whole to determine whether the comments were or were not welcome.Internal Procedures
Employees who have been subject to sexual comments should follow any internal grievance procedure that is outlined in your employment handbook or other job-related documents. This may include filing a report with HR. The report should be in writing, and you should keep a copy. If you do not report the sexual comments to HR or allow your employer to take steps to stop them, you may not be able to recover damages later.
In most cases, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination provides greater protections to workers who are harassed on the job. There is no prerequisite to filing a state court lawsuit, and there are no caps on damages, as there are with Title VII complaints.Explore Your Options with an Employment Lawyer in New Jersey
Sexual comments in the workplace may be quite distressing and affect your job performance. If you are thinking about filing a sexual harassment lawsuit, an experienced employment lawyer may make a difference to your ability to recover damages. The New Jersey attorneys at Phillips & Associates are aggressive and knowledgeable. You should contact us as soon as you are aware that you may have a claim. Call us at (609) 436-9087 or use our online form to set up a free consultation. We help people in Passaic, Bergen, Morris, Essex, Union, Hudson, Somerset, Middlesex, Monmouth, Mercer, Burlington, and Camden Counties. Since we work on a contingency basis, we do not receive any fees unless we recover compensation for you.
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