Have you been subjected to unwelcomed sexual advances by a co-worker or supervisor at your employment? Has your supervisor threatened your employment or offered you favorable employment treatment if you agree to engage in sexual relations with him? Has your employer retaliated against you because you complained or objected to inappropriate sexual comments or harassment at the workplace? If so, you may have an actionable claim of sexual harassment under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination and should speak to one of your New Jersey Employment Lawyers about your potential case.
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination prohibits sexual harassment at the workplace. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual relations or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. There are several different forms of actionable sexual harassment under New Jersey law, which include hostile work environment sexual harassment, quid pro quo sexual harassment and retaliation.Hostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment
A hostile work environment based upon sexual harassment occurs when there is conduct at the workplace that is unwelcome, that it occurred because his or her sex and that a reasonable person of the same sex would consider the conduct sufficiently server e or pervasive enough to alter the conditions of employment and create an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment. New Jersey courts will consider the following four prong test in determining whether an employee has been subjected to a hostile work environment based upon sexual harassment:
- the offensive and/or harassing conduct would not have occurred but for the employee’s gender;
- the offensive and/or harassing conduct was severe or pervasive enough to make a;
- a reasonable woman believe that; and
- the conditions of employment are altered and the working environment has become hostile or abusive.
Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when the terms or conditions of a person’s employment is based upon his or her submission to a sexual act or when an individual’s submission to or rejection of the sexually harassing conduct by another employee is used as a basis for an employment decision affecting that individual’s employment. In order to prove a claim under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination for Quid Pro Quo sexual harassment, an employee must establish the following:
- that the employee is a member of a protected class (i.e. a woman);
- the employee was subjected to unwelcomed sexual harassment that others who were not part of the protected class were not subjected to;
- the unwelcomed sexual harassment complained of was based upon the employee’s sex; and
- the employee’s reaction to the harassment complained of affected the terms, conditions, compensation or privileges of their employment.
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination makes it illegal for an employer to take reprisals against an employee because he or she has:
- opposed any practices or acts of sexual harassment regardless whether he or she was the person subjected to the sexual harassment or
- has or intends to file a complaint, testify or assist in any proceeding in connection with a sexual harassment complaint.
The employee must be acting in good faith and have a reasonable belief that sexual harassment has occurred in order to have an engaged in protected activity. So long as the employee has made an objectively reasonable and good faith complaint of sexual harassment, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination prohibits the employer from taking adverse employment actions against the employee for making the complaint.Smith Eibeler Employment Lawyers
If you believe you may have been or are currently being subjected to actionable sexual harassment, please contact of New Jersey Employment Lawyers to discuss the specific facts of your workplace situation.