Sexual Harassment Attorneys in New Jersey
Based in Marlton & Northfield, We Protect Your Workplace Rights
Sexual harassment is any type of unwanted sexual advance at work that creates a hostile or offensive environment. Both men and women can be victims of sexual harassment, and it knows no gender (for example, a male can sexually harass another male, a male can harass a female, etc.). Numerous state and federal laws exist to protect employees from having to work in a hostile environment, and our sexual harassment attorneys in Marlton & Northfield are here to uphold those as we work to protect your rights.
Types of Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment may be overt, such as sexual assault or unwanted touching, but it is can also be much subtler. For example, repeated compliments about one’s appearance can constitute sexual harassment if it happens frequently enough, or if inappropriate language is usd.
In general, there are two main types of sexual harassment that are unlawful under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
- Hostile Work Environment – Claims arise when there is some type of unwanted sexual conduct occurring at work, such as inappropriate comments or touching. These types of claims must be not only offensive to the employee making the complaint, but to any reasonable person in the same situation.
- Quid Pro Quo – When a supervisor requests sexual favors in exchange for some type of employment action, including but not limited to: promotion or demotion; increase in salary; or additional fringe benefits such as extra paid time off, use of the company credit card, etc.
Examples of Workplace Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment can take on many forms, including:
- Unwanted touching
- Repeated compliments on one’s appearance
- Being questioned about your sex life
- Repeated hugs
- Spreading sexual rumors about a person
- Dirty jokes
- Unwanted romantic or sexual gifts
- Unwanted sexting or sending “nudes”
- Someone talking about their sex life in front of you
- Sexual propositions
- Circulating inappropriate photos
- One person complimenting the attractiveness of another person in front of an employee
What to Do If You Are Being Sexually Harassed at Work
According to the United States Supreme Court, employees must first use internal complaint procedures before they can prevail in a lawsuit. This is because the courts want employers to have an opportunity to resolve the problem before the matter is escalated to the point of taking legal action. That said, if you are being harassed at work, you should take these initial steps to try and bring it to an end:
- Directly ask the offender to stop – If you feel you are being subjected to unwanted sexual conduct at work, you have every right to directly ask the offender to stop. Not only will this empower you and give the person a chance to cease the inappropriate behavior on their own accord, but it can also help you build a case should the conduct continue, and you decide to file a legal claim for sexual harassment.
- Write or e-mail a letter – If the offender continues harassing you after you have asked them to stop, or if you do not feel comfortable confronting them face to face, you can write them a letter asking them to stop. If you take this route, make sure to retain a copy for your own records.
- Go to a supervisor – If the behavior continues, or you do not feel comfortable writing them a letter, inform your supervisor of what is happening. You may want to check your employee handbook or workplace policies to learn the appropriate reporting procedure for these types of situations. If your supervisor is the one doing the harassing, you will need to report the harassment to a higher authority.
- Document the incident(s) – Keep records of the date and location of the harassment, including the offender, witnesses, the behavior, etc. Save emails, text, and any written communication that can show you are being harassed. The more evidence you have, the better it can be for your case.
- Call an attorney – When you contact an attorney, he or she can guide you through your options and help you navigate through your case. Your attorney can also provide advice on the steps you can take to help protect your rights and strengthen your case before you file an official complaint.
How Do I Document Sexual Harassment at Work?
Be sure to document everything, keeping a detailed journal of the harassment you experience and gathering any evidence that might be relevant down the road. For example, if you were sent unwanted sexual photographs, be sure to screenshot and save them. If there were paper pictures pinned-up at the office that made you feel uncomfortable, take a photo of then.
If asking the harasser and/or complaining to your supervisor to have them stop is unsuccessful, you can file a claim for sexual harassment to the appropriate state or federal agency. An experienced New lawyer from our team can help you determine where and how to file your employment law claim.
Standing Up for Victims of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), nearly 75% of those who are sexually harassed fail to report it. It may be that sexual harassment is severely underreported because people fear employment retaliation. However, it is unlawful for an employer to retaliate against you for reporting sexual harassment.
If you have questions about whether the conduct you experienced is legally actionable and what your recourse and remedies might be, contact our New Jersey sexual harassment attorneys at Burnham Douglass Attorneys at Law by dialing 856-751-5505 or filling out an online contact form here.
Our offices are located in Marlton and Northfield, New Jersey. We proudly represent clients throughout South Jersey, including those in Burlington County, Camden County, and in the communities of Cherry Hill, Voorhees, Marlton and Medford.