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$20,000 settlement for sexual harassment of restaurant worker

Sexual harassment in the workplace seems to be featured on the news daily. Many New Jersey employers already have a sexual harassment policy in place. Employees may want to familiarize themselves with the contents of such a policy in order to know what action to take in the event of being a victim of such harassment.

Reportedly, a restaurant worker in another state was constantly subjected to vulgar remarks made by the co-owner of the restaurant about sexual acts and women's bodies. When she had enough of this, she reported the matter, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a federal lawsuit against the man in 2013. Records showed that the man admitted to yelling at the staff, but he denied the accusation of making remarks of a sexual nature.

Workers sometimes don't immediately recognize sexual harassment for what it is. What could seem innocent at first could develop into sexual harassment in no time. Making jokes of a sexual nature, showing sexual objects or pictures, discussing one's sex life and making sexual remarks about another person's body are all indicative of this pernicious form of harassment.

The restaurant decided to settle the lawsuit for the sum of $20,000. The owners also agreed to inform all workers of the settlement and to supply the employees with training related to sexual harassment in the workplace. New Jersey workers who are victimized in this manner can report the matter to the employer, who then has the responsibility to take immediate and appropriate action. If the employer fails to do this (or if the employer is the harassing party), the worker may choose to take further legal action.

Source: njherald.com, Erie restaurant settles harassment lawsuit, No author, March 7, 2014

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