Sexual harassment comes in many forms: unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual relations or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Generally, there are two kinds of conduct that constitutes sexual harassment.
Quid pro quo harassment occurs when an employer, on his or her own or through an agent, implicitly or explicitly links the condition(s) of the employment to sexual conduct or demands. This puts an employee in a position that he or she feels that they must tolerate the sexual conduct or advances or engage in a sexual relationship in order to keep their job, advance in their career or to receive other favorable conditions of employment or avoid poor evaluations or demotions. New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination (LAD) prohibits an employer or his or her agent to so condition favorable treatment such as promotions, salary increases, or preferred assignments, on an employee’s acceptance of sexual advances or relations.
Hostile work environment sexual harassment occurs when an employee is subjected to unreasonable sexual, abusive, or offensive conduct because of his or her gender. Such conduct creates an unlawful work environment when it is severe or pervasive enough to make a reasonable person of the employee’s gender believe that the conditions of employment have been altered and the working environment has become hostile or abusive. The conduct does not have to be sexual in nature and does not have to involve physical contact. For example, if a woman is subjected to non-sexual taunts or adverse treatment because of her gender, her work environment may be deemed unlawfully hostile and abusive. This analytical framework may also be applied to hostile work environments created because of an employee’s race, nationality, creed, disability, or other characteristics enumerated by the LAD. For example, racial slurs or offensive comments or jokes about a person’s dress, culture, accent or ethnic background may be severe or pervasive enough to create a hostile or abusive environment that violates the LAD.
Our Law Firm has represented Employee victims of Sexual Harassment and Employers defending Sexual Harassment lawsuits.
If you have a legal matter involving Sexual Harassment feel free to contact us for a free legal consultation.