Negative experiences we have throughout our lives can have long-term consequences on our health and wellbeing. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that women who experience sexual harassment in the workplace often suffer from serious, long-term issues, such as:
- High Blood Pressure
- Clinical Insomnia
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Even more alarming may be the fact that an estimated 40 percent to 75 percent of women in the United States have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace.
What is Workplace Sexual Harassment?
Although harassment in the workplace can take many forms, sexual harassment is defined as unwanted sexual advances, conduct, comments, jokes or other behaviors.
In addition to the physical and psychological consequences listed above, sexual harassment interferes with an employee’s job and overall career success.
Studies have found that female victims of sexual harassment experience the following:
- Decreased job satisfaction
- Lower organizational commitment
- Withdrawal from work
Sexual Harassment Consequences
Sexual harassment has consequences that last beyond the incident itself, affecting careers, mental health, and physical well-being. Federal and state laws protect both female and male victims from sexual harassment in the workplace.
New Jersey employees who are experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace, or any other form of discrimination, should contact a Middletown sexual harassment lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced lawyer can review the details of potential client’s circumstances to determine the best course of action.
Sexual Assault vs Sexual Harassment
People often use the terms sexual assault and sexual harassment interchangeably. However, they are very different terms. While sexual harassment can take many forms, sexual assault always includes unwanted contact or attempted contact of a forceful, violent, or threatening nature.
When we think of the term sexual assault, most of us may think of rape. While rape is one form of sexual assault, there are more subtle forms of this crime that may go underreported:
- Forcing contact: Kissing someone against their will
- Groping: Unlawful touching of a sexual nature
- Grooming: A supervisor gains trust of an employee and then uses their power to intimidate them into a sexual relationship
When sexual harassment is discovered in the workplace, the employer is often held legally responsible for failing to stop the inappropriate conduct. Additionally, the perpetrator of this conduct (employee) usually faces little more than the employer’s consequences for this behavior.
However, in New Jersey, sexual assault is considered a serious criminal act committed against another person. Sexual assault is a federal crime and, depending on the nature of the situation, can result in 10 to 20 years in prison.
Middletown Sexual Harassment Lawyers McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. Represent Victims of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
If you have questions about identifying unwanted sexual conduct in the workplace, or have experienced sexual harassment or assault, you do not have to handle this alone. A dedicated and compassionate Middletown sexual harassment lawyer at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. is ready to listen and provide you with the next steps.
Call our Red Bank office at 732-842-6500, our Marlton office at 856-985-9800, our Newark office at 973-878-9040, or contact us at 888-396-0736 or online for a free consultation. We represent clients throughout New Jersey.