Although many people may think they can recognize sexual harassment, common perceptions may not actually be in line with the law. Sexual harassment in New Jersey can include treating a person differently because of their gender, making unwelcome jokes or conversation to make a person uncomfortable, verbal or physical abuse, or sexual advances or propositions. It can also include an offer of a professional advancement or benefit in exchange for sexual favors (commonly known as “quid pro quo”), using sexist slurs, or retaliation against an employee for making a sexual harassment complaint. Some common myths regarding workplace sexual harassment are:
Only women can be harassed
Truth: Anyone regardless of their gender or gender identity can be the victim of harassment by any other person, regardless of gender or gender identity.
Only people who are directly harassed are the victims of sexual harassment
Truth: Third parties who witness the harassment are also victims.
Harassment requires touching
Truth: Harassment can be verbal in nature.
A compliment cannot qualify as harassment
Truth: If the comment is construed as offensive, it can be harassment. Sexual harassment is all about how the individual perceives it.
Sexual harassment is motivated by a desire for sex
Truth: More often, the motivating factor underlying the harassment is a desire for power or dominance over the victim or plain bullying.
Harassment will go away if ignored
Truth: Usually ignoring the problem will not make it go away, it may even become worse.
The behavior must be repeated in order for it to constitute sexual harassment
Truth: The harassment can occur one time and if it is sufficiently egregious, it could rise to the level of sexual harassment under the law.
These are just examples of some of the most common myths regarding sexual harassment. Each situation involving harassment that is sexual or directly related to a person’s gender is unique and must be evaluated individually.
Cherry Hill Sexual Harassment Lawyers at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. Represent Victims of Hostile Work Environments
Cherry Hill sexual harassment lawyers at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. can thoroughly assess sexual harassment claims and advise you of the next steps you can take. Contact our offices in Marlton, New Jersey or Red Bank, New Jersey where we serve clients throughout the state. Call toll free at 888-396-0736, or at 732-842-6500, or at 856-985-9800, or contact us online.