Experienced Sexual Harassment Lawyers in New York & New Jersey

Understanding Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Sexual harassment in the workplace encompasses unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that creates a hostile, intimidating, or offensive work environment. It can occur between individuals of the same or different genders and can involve supervisors, co-workers, clients, or customers.

Types of Sexual Harassment:

1 - Hostile Work Environment:  
This occurs when pervasive or severe unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment. Examples include explicit sexual comments, jokes, unwanted touching, or displaying sexually suggestive images.

2 - Quid Pro Quo Harassment:
In this type of harassment, employment decisions or benefits are conditioned on the submission to unwelcome sexual advances or demands. For instance, an employer may offer a promotion in exchange for sexual favors, or threaten termination if advances are refused.

Recognizing Sexual Harassment:

It's important to recognize that sexual harassment can take various forms and may not always be obvious. Key indicators include:

• Unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or explicit comments.
• Displays of sexually suggestive materials or images in the workplace.
• Making employment benefits contingent upon sexual favors.
• Creating a hostile or offensive work environment through sexualized behavior or language.
• Retaliating against an employee for rejecting advances or reporting harassment.

Legal Protections:

State and federal laws, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, and the New York State and City Human Rights Laws, provide legal protections against sexual harassment in the workplace. Employers have a legal obligation to prevent and address sexual harassment and can be held liable for failing to do so.

Reporting Sexual Harassment:

Employees who experience sexual harassment should report the behavior to their employer's designated channels, such as human resources or a supervisor. It's essential to document incidents of harassment and follow the company's policies and procedures for reporting and addressing complaints.

Seeking Legal Assistance:

Victims of sexual harassment have the right to seek legal recourse. Experienced sexual harassment lawyers can provide guidance and support throughout the process, including filing complaints with government agencies or pursuing civil litigation against the harasser and employer.

In conclusion, understanding what constitutes sexual harassment and knowing your rights is crucial for maintaining a safe and respectful workplace environment.

Protecting Employee Rights: Expert Sexual Harassment Lawyers in New York & New Jersey

At our firm, our experienced sexual harassment lawyers in New York and New Jersey are dedicated to safeguarding employees' rights in the workplace. State and federal laws, including New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination, the New York City Human Rights Law, the New York State Human Rights Law, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, provide essential protections against workplace harassment.

Sexual harassment can manifest in various forms, such as hostile work environments or quid pro quo situations. A hostile work environment arises when sexual advances, comments, or offensive conduct make the workplace intimidating or uncomfortable. Quid pro quo harassment involves demands for sexual favors in exchange for employment benefits, which is strictly prohibited under the law.

Employees have the right to work in environments free from harassment based on their race, age, gender, religion, or any other protected characteristic. It's crucial for employers to understand their obligations and for employees to know their rights. Retaliation against employees for reporting sexual harassment or seeking assistance is also illegal.

Our firm specializes in addressing sexual harassment cases and provides comprehensive legal support in various practice areas, including sexual harassment, whistleblowing, discrimination, pregnancy and disability rights, labor law, and business litigation. If you believe you've been subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace, don't hesitate to contact us for a free phone consultation.

We're committed to advocating for victims of sexual harassment and ensuring that employers are held accountable for creating and maintaining safe work environments for all employees.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Sexual Harassment

What factors contribute to a hostile work environment?

A hostile work environment can be created by various factors, including persistent sexual jokes or comments, inappropriate touching, sexually explicit emails or messages, and the presence of sexually suggestive materials in the workplace. Any behavior that makes an employee feel uncomfortable, intimidated, or offended based on their gender or sexual orientation may contribute to a hostile environment.

Can sexual harassment occur outside of traditional office settings?

Yes, sexual harassment can occur in any work-related setting, including off-site meetings, business trips, company events, and virtual work environments. Employers have a duty to ensure that their employees are protected from sexual harassment regardless of the location or circumstances.

What should I do if I witness sexual harassment happening to a coworker?

If you witness sexual harassment happening to a coworker, it's important to offer support to the victim and encourage them to report the behavior to HR or management. You can also document the incident if possible and provide testimony or statements during any investigation. Standing up against sexual harassment helps create a safer and more respectful workplace for everyone.

Can third parties, such as clients or vendors, be held accountable for sexual harassment?

Yes, third parties, including clients, customers, vendors, and contractors, can be held accountable for sexual harassment if their behavior creates a hostile work environment for employees. Employers have a responsibility to address and prevent sexual harassment from any source within the workplace, including external parties.

What resources are available for individuals who have experienced sexual harassment?

Individuals who have experienced sexual harassment can seek support from various resources, including employee assistance programs (EAPs), counseling services, support groups, and legal aid organizations. Many jurisdictions also have hotlines and helplines specifically for victims of sexual harassment where they can receive information and assistance.

Can bystanders be liable for failing to intervene in cases of sexual harassment?

In some cases, bystanders who witness sexual harassment but fail to intervene or report the behavior may also be held accountable, especially if they have a duty to act based on company policies or legal requirements. Encouraging bystander intervention and promoting a culture of accountability can help prevent sexual harassment and support victims.

How can employers create a culture of respect and inclusion to prevent sexual harassment?

Employers can promote a culture of respect and inclusion by providing comprehensive training on sexual harassment prevention, fostering open communication channels for reporting harassment, implementing clear policies and procedures for addressing complaints, and holding all employees accountable for their behavior. Creating a supportive and respectful work environment benefits everyone and reduces the risk of harassment.

What should I do if I am experiencing retaliation for reporting sexual harassment?

If you experience retaliation for reporting sexual harassment, document the retaliatory actions, report them to HR or management, and seek legal advice from an experienced employment lawyer. Retaliation against employees for engaging in protected activities, such as reporting harassment, is illegal, and you have rights and protections under the law.