A former public works employee for Stratford, New Jersey alleges that a borough employee sexually harassed him over a number of years in various ways. The lawsuit also claims that the Borough of Stratford did not have a “meaningful policy against sexual harassment.”
An allegation of sexual harassment in New Jersey is a serious claim with far-reaching effects on both the accused and the accuser. It is important for employers and employees to be aware of their civil rights with regards to sexual harassment and hostile work environments.
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (N.J.S.A. 10:5-12) makes it illegal to treat people differently with regards to employment based on a number of conditions including, but not limited to, race, creed, color, age, sex (including pregnancy), familial status, marital status, domestic partnership or civil union status, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression.
Sexual Harassment in New Jersey
In New Jersey, sexual harassment includes “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual relations or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.” There are generally two types of sexual harassment, quid pro quo and hostile work environment. In Latin, quid pro quo means “this for that” or “something for something.” Thus, a quid pro quo harassment case is when an employee is asked to participate in a sexual act as a condition of employment. For example, a manager or employer might suggest that if an employee performs a sexual act then the manager or employer will give them a favorable work assignment or promotion.
The second type of sexual harassment case involves a hostile work environment. A hostile work environment with regards to sexual harassment is created when someone is treated differently because of his or her gender. The environment can be considered hostile and/or unlawful for a number reasons. Generally, however, someone has to believe they have been treated differently or unfairly solely because of their gender.
Every workplace should have a clear policy on sexual harassment and inform all workers of that policy. Below is a list of things employers can do to ensure that they have a sound sexual harassment policy:
- Have a committee in place with several individuals identified to whom employees can go with questions and complaints.
- Develop a method of investigation for addressing complaints.
- Propose remedial measures through counseling, discipline, termination, monitoring.
- Develop a training agenda and schedule.
It is also recommended that training occur every six months, yearly, and that it is included in new hire orientation.
Cherry Hill Sexual Harassment Lawyers at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. Represent Victims of Sexual Harassment
If you or someone you know has questions regarding sexual harassment or a hostile work environment, seek the counsel of the experienced Cherry Hill sexual harassment lawyers at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C.. Contact our offices in Marlton, New Jersey or Red Bank, New Jersey where we serve clients throughout New Jersey. Call toll free at 888-396-0736 or contact us online.