Phillips & Associates

Supervisor Sexual Harassment in New Jersey

Employment Attorneys Advocating for Workers Throughout New Jersey

You deserve to work in an environment that is free from sexual harassment. It may be extremely intimidating and upsetting to face sexual overtures, comments, groping, touches, requests for dates, or other forms of harassment from a supervisor. Both Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination prohibit supervisor sexual harassment. If your supervisor sexually harasses you, you may be able to recover damages like front pay, back pay, injunctive relief, and compensatory damages. The New Jersey sexual harassment lawyers at Phillips & Associates are ready to guide you through this process.

Supervisor Sexual Harassment

Both a supervisor and an employer may be held liable for supervisor sexual harassment. When a supervisor or manager knows that a supervisor is sexually harassing an employee but fails to take action, that manager may also be responsible for permitting a hostile work environment. A way to define “supervisor” in many cases is an employee with the authority to take or recommend concrete employment actions that affect you or to direct your daily activities.

The New Jersey Supreme Court has held that a sexual harassment plaintiff needs to prove that the offensive conduct would not have happened if not for the employee's sex, that it was pervasive or serious enough to make a reasonable person of the same gender believe that employment conditions were changed, and that the work environment had become hostile.

Strict Liability

Employers may be strictly liable for equitable damages, such as back pay or reinstatement, following supervisor sexual harassment. They may also be accountable for compensatory damages related to the victim's emotional distress if the victim establishes that the supervisor acted within the scope of their employment in creating a hostile work environment.

Principles of agency apply so that an employer will not be subject to liability for a supervisor acting outside the scope of employment, unless the employer intended the actions, the employer was reckless or negligent, the actions violated a non-delegable duty of the employer, or the supervisor claimed to act or speak on behalf of the employer.

Employer's Policy

An employer accused of supervisor sexual harassment may try to point to a written anti-discrimination policy in an effort to escape liability. In some cases, this defense will be successful, such as when an employer promptly corrects sexually harassing behavior or when a victim of harassment does not take advantage of corrective opportunities. This is why it is crucial to follow any grievance procedures outlined in your employee handbook and allow your employer to try to correct the situation. This defense will only be successful, however, when an employer has not taken a negative employment action against the plaintiff. Thus, for example, if you are reassigned to an unfavorable position because you complained about sexual harassment, your employer may not rely on its anti-discrimination policy.

Contact a Knowledgeable Sexual Harassment Lawyer in New Jersey

Supervisor sexual harassment may cause extreme distress to an employee. The employment attorneys at Phillips & Associates are aggressive and knowledgeable advocates for employees who have been subjected to sexual harassment. You should contact our New Jersey lawyers 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 appointment. We help people in Middlesex, Monmouth, Mercer, Passaic, Bergen, Morris, Essex, Union, Hudson, Somerset, Burlington and Camden Counties. As a contingency law firm, we do not ask for any fees from our clients until and unless we recover compensation for them.

100 Overlook Center, 2nd Floor
Princeton, NJ 08540
Tel: 609-436-9087

Managing Partner in New Jersey - Bryan Arce

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