Sexual Harassment

New Jersey Sexual Harassment Attorneys

Helping Employees Fight Sexual Misconduct at Work in NJ

Sexual harassment is considered a severe form of sex-based discrimination. Sexual harassment can happen to anyone. It affects people at all levels in all types of professions.

Federal and New Jersey state law both protect employees from workplace sexual harassment. You have a right to a workplace free of sexual harassment no matter where you work. However, despite protective sexual harassment laws, this form of misconduct is still pervasive in the workplace. When harassment does occur, a New Jersey sexual harassment lawyer can help you stand up for yourself in court.

If you experienced unwanted conduct by a coworker, supervisor, or someone else at work, we can help. Our sexual harassment attorneys in NJ can evaluate your claim and proceed with legal action.

Need Legal Help? Contact Our NJ Sexual Harassment Attorneys Now.Contact us online or call (856) 746-6332 to arrange a free initial consultation.

Understanding Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

All employees should feel safe in the workplace. Men and women alike should feel like they can do their jobs without worrying about harassment, abuse, or unfair treatment. Unfortunately, the reality for many is that they deal with sexual harassment on a regular basis from a superior or co-worker, and it’s easy to blow it off as nothing if you aren’t aware of what behaviors constitute sexual harassment.

Examples of sexual harassment in the workplace include:

  • Inappropriate, off-color jokes: Even the simplest off-color joke can be considered sexual harassment if it makes someone else uncomfortable, especially jokes about race, sex, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.
  • Unwelcome physical touch: Unwelcome touch doesn’t have to be sexual in nature in order to be considered sexual harassment. Anytime someone initiates physical contact on purpose, when it isn’t wanted, it may be harassment. 
  • Derogatory comments: Women and men should be treated equally in the office, but sometimes a joke or a comment is made about the other sex. Any comment that is derogatory to an individual’s gender can constitute sexual harassment, as well as sexually explicit comments or advances.
  • Exchanging sexual favors: In situations of sexual harassment, a superior or executive may use sexual favors as a way to give an employee a better chance at a promotion. Some may offer a certain job or raise if the person does what they ask (quid pro quo). Any time your boss asks you to perform a sexual favor in exchange for something, it’s sexual harassment.
  • Derogatory pictures: Along with inappropriate jokes, derogatory comments, and unsolicited physical touch, derogatory or sexually explicit pictures in the workplace can also fall into the category of sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment is a problem that deserves serious treatment by everyone in the office. Those who feel they may have been harassed in the workplace may benefit from speaking to a New Jersey sexual harassment attorney at The Law Firm of Morgan Rooks, P.C. to understand their rights and options.

Types of Sexual Harassment: Verbal, Physical, and Visual

Verbal or Written Sexual Harassment

The most obvious form of sexual harassment is verbal or written sexual harassment. There is no ambiguity when a coworker sends you lewd pictures or makes suggestive comments. Written harassment can occur over text or emails, while verbal harassment can be directed at you or occur behind your back.

Physical Sexual Harassment

Unlike verbal or written harassment, physical sexual harassment in the workplace is not always easy to identify, because gestures or physical contact can be interpreted in different ways. Physical sexual harassment can be more obvious, such as unwanted intimate touching or kissing. Or it can be more ambiguous, such as suggestive hand gestures.

Visual Sexual Harassment

Visual sexual harassment is the most difficult to identify because it is so subjective. It can involve a co-worker making lewd gestures, displaying sexually explicit pictures, or even posing suggestively.

Identifying a Sexually Hostile Work Environment

A sexually hostile work environment is a form of sexual harassment that makes it difficult for an employee to perform their job. It can happen when inappropriate comments, gestures, or conduct in the workplace creates an uncomfortable or offensive atmosphere.

The law states that sexually offensive conduct becomes illegal when:

  • It is severe and pervasive: The unwelcome behavior must be frequent enough or serious enough to create a hostile or abusive work environment.
  • It creates fear and intimidation: A reasonable person in your position would have felt fearful, intimidated, or physically threatened at the time of the conduct.
  • The victim’s job is affected: The harassment must be so severe that it changes how a person feels about their job. It may cause them to quit, get demoted, or lose their job altogether.

Quid Pro Quo Harassment: Understanding the Exchange of Favors

The literal translation of quid pro quo is “something for something” or “this for that.”  Quid pro quo harassment is a form of sexual harassment that involves the exchange of a sexual favor for a workplace incentive. The incentive may be a promotion or raise, but it can also be threatening in nature. For example, the perpetrator can insinuate that someone will not be fired if they perform a sex act.

Any kind of transaction that requires a party to engage in or be subjected to sexual activity is quid pro quo harassment and is illegal. If someone at work makes an offer to you involving your participation in sex acts, immediately consult with a NJ sexual harassment attorney.

Comparing Hostile Work Environment and Quid Pro Quo Harassment

Quid pro quo harassment and sexually hostile work environment are both illegal, but they're a little different. Quid pro quo is always deliberate and direct, whereas hostile environment may not be directed at anyone specific. Hostile work environment issues may also happen without the person creating the issue realizing their behavior is problematic. Supervisors and other authority figures are most often responsible for quid pro quo harassment while any coworker can create a hostile work environment.

If you are unsure what type of sexual harassment you have experienced it is best to contact a lawyer to help with your case. Skilled harassment lawyers from The Law Firm of Morgan Rooks, P.C. can review your situation and help you decide on the best course of action.

New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) and Sexual Harassment

In addition to federal laws that prohibit sexual harassment in the workplace, New Jersey has it's own laws in place to protect it's citizens from sexual harassment. The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination makes it illegal for an employer, housing provider, or place of public accommodation to discrimination against someone because of their gender – this includes sexual harassment. Additionally, if an act of sexual harassment is committed and the employer (housing provider, etc.) doesn't take action or properly report it, they are in violation of the LAD.

Who Can Be Held Accountable for Sexual Harassment?

According to the EEOC, sexual harassment can occur with supervisors, co-workers, clients, and customers. Any individual who makes you feel uncomfortable in the workplace may be harassing you. 

Both men and women experience harassment, and you can be harassed by an individual of the same sex. Sexual harassment may also be physical or non-physical in nature. Sometimes the employee may not even be the direct recipient of abuse. They may have witnessed and been adversely affected by this abuse, creating a hostile work environment.

Further Reading on Sexual Harassment

Recent News on Sexual Harassment Cases

Seek Justice with Our NJ Sexual Harassment Lawyers

No one should have to endure a violation of their rights without the opportunity to seek legal recourse. In many sexual harassment cases, plaintiffs can seek monetary damages as fair and just compensation for their mistreatment at work. We can help you fight for fair and just compensation if you need to hold responsible parties accountable.

Ready to Take Action? Speak with Our New Jersey Sexual Harassment Lawyers Today.The Law Firm of Morgan Rooks, P.C.. Schedule a consultation by calling (856) 746-6332 or completing our online contact form.


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Schedule your free initial consultation with The Law Firm of Morgan Rooks, P.C. today by contacting us online or calling (856) 746-6332.

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