Workplace Sexual Harassment Lawyers
At Maggs McDermott DiCicco, our lawyers specialize in workplace sexual harassment cases. We understand how difficult and distressing such situations can be, and we are committed to providing compassionate and understanding support throughout the legal process. We have an extensive understanding of the nuances and dynamics of a sexual harassment case, and we are dedicated to ensuring you get the justice you deserve.
Understanding Sexual Harassment
In New Jersey, sexual harassment is considered to be a form of discrimination that is prohibited by the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD). Under the NJLAD, it is illegal for an employer, landlord, or another person with authority to make unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of sexual nature when:
- Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or housing.
- Submission or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment or housing decisions.
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or living environment.
What May Be Considered Sexual Harassment
Some specific examples of behavior that may constitute sexual harassment include:
- Unwanted advances or propositions
- Offensive or crude jokes or comments
- Physical touching or gestures
- Displaying sexually explicit or suggestive materials
- Threatening or implying that status is tied to submission
- Creating a hostile or intimidating work environment
- Retaliating against an employee who has complained about sexual harassment
Proving Sexual Harassment Retaliation in the Workplace
Proving retaliation for reporting or resisting sexual harassment can be challenging, as it often relies on circumstantial evidence. To prove retaliation, an individual must show that they engaged in a protected activity and that they suffered an adverse reaction as a result.
Evidence means that the employer took action against the employee soon after the protected activity took place; this may include:
- Loss of benefits
- Teasing or jokes
What Should Employees Do?
If an employee feels sexually harassed, they should report the behavior to their employer or supervisor immediately. The employee should take detailed notes, such as what happened, where it happened, who was involved, and who saw the harassment take place, to provide specific information about the behavior and individual involved.
If the harassment persists once a complaint has been filed, it is critical to consult with an experienced sexual harassment lawyer to protect your rights and best interests should you decide to pursue a sexual harassment case.
New Jersey Sexual Harassment Policies
New Jersey has strict laws in place to protect employees from sexual harassment in the workplace. This includes:
- Informing new hires of the company’s sexual harassment policies
- Establishing a neutral third party to receive complaints in case the victim is uncomfortable speaking with a supervisor
- Complaints must be thoroughly investigated, speaking with the victim, witnesses, and the accused
- This process should be done with impartiality, and retaliation will not be tolerated
- The company’s human resources and legal teams should be consulted
- If the harassment occurred, the offender should face disciplinary action, up to and including termination
Avenues for Reporting Sexual Harassment
You may exercise one of the following avenues when reporting sexual harassment claims:
- Reporting to the authority figure of the harasser and the human resources department of the company
- Pursuing mediation through the company to resolve the problem with a trained mediator
- Grievance procedures through the company
- File a formal complaint through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission within 45 days of the incident
Maggs McDermott DiCicco: Multi-Disciplinary Attorneys
At Maggs McDermott DiCicco, our firm offers a team of multi-disciplinary attorneys who are well-versed in a wide range of legal practice areas. Our attorneys work tirelessly to provide comprehensive legal services while always keeping the best interest of our clients at the forefront.
We ensure that your rights are protected throughout the legal process and strive to get you the justice and compensation you deserve. Our sexual harassment lawyers are dedicated to holding employers accountable for the behavior of their employees and are committed to fighting for the rights of the victim.
Get the Representation You Need
If you have been the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure of how to proceed. By contacting Maggs McDermott DiCicco, you can obtain the legal representation you need to fight your case. Our attorneys will work closely with you to understand your situation, gather evidence, and build a strong case on your behalf. Contact our firm today to schedule your consultation.