Sexual harassment is illegal and wrong. You should never feel uncomfortable or unsafe at work. If you are experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace, it is important to know your rights as an employee in New Jersey. The two most common forms of harassment in the workplace are quid pro quo harassment and hostile work environment.
Quid Pro Quo
Quid pro quo is a Latin term meaning “this for that”. This type of harassment occurs when a victim’s response to unwanted sexual advances determines his/her basis for employment decisions. For example, this could include an employee refusing her employer’s sexual advances and then being terminated as a result. Quid pro quo harassment can include non-overt sexual advances, such as repeated, unwanted glances or inappropriate verbal cues. A result of the harassment can be the termination or demotion of the employee. Additionally, if an employer or supervisor offers an employee a raise or promotion based on his or her agreement to engage in sexual acts, this behavior constitutes quid pro quo harassment.
Hostile Work Environment
This form of sexual harassment is categorized by a work environment that is hostile or abusive due to the unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of an employee. As with quid pro quo harassment, the unwanted verbal or physical conduct must be severe or pervasive. Courts have described such conduct as that which creates an “arbitrary barrier to sexual equality at the workplace”.
Am I Being Sexually Harassed At Work?
Sexual harassment can include a wide range of behaviors or mistreatment, including but not limited to:
- Treating employees of a certain gender differently, such as paying them less or failing to promote them.
- Making unwelcome innuendos, jokes or conversation that make a person of a certain gender or orientation feel uncomfortable.
- Objectifying an employee based on their appearance.
- Sending emails or images of a sexual nature.
- Making unwanted physical contact such as patting, touching, or rubbing.
- Subjecting persons of a certain gender to increased scrutiny, criticism, and harassment, or otherwise making their workplace uncomfortable.
- Sexual advances or propositions, including suggestions of trading advancement for sexual favors, commonly known as quid pro quo harassment.
- Verbal or physical abuse.
- Using sexist slurs or comments.
- Terminating or disciplining an employee in retaliation for making a complaint about sexual harassment.
Contact A New Jersey Sexual Harassment Lawyer Today
The success or failure of a sexual harassment claim can hinge on many factors. At McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C., we will thoroughly investigate the matter and provide you with a clear assessment of your claim. We will explore all legal options and recourse at your disposal. Our skilled employment attorneys in New Jersey work quickly and decisively to help stop workplace harassment and to seek fair compensation for harassment victims. Contact us today to discuss your case.