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Sexual harassment in the workplace

Workers in New Jersey are legally protected from sexual harassment by supervisors, coworkers and clients at their workplace. Sexual harassment can take many different forms and can be experienced by both men and women. After being sexually harassed, workers should make it clear to the person harassing them that the behavior is unwelcome and unlawful.

Some examples of sexual harassment in the workplace include sexually suggestive behavior, jokes or language. Unwelcome sexual propositions and inappropriate touching could also be considered sexual harassment. If sexually explicit material is displayed around a work environment or intrusive questions are asked about sexual activity, these things could amount to sexual harassment as well.

Employers are not only barred from sexually harassing their employees at work, they are also obligated to ensure that no sexual harassment goes on in the workplace. If an employee is being sexually harassed by anyone at work, their boss must take steps to ensure that the sexual harassment stops regardless of whether or not they had any part in it.

Employees who have been sexually harassed at work are entitled to seek relief under the Law Against Discrimination. A person who has been sexually harassed may file a complaint with the New Jersey Division of Civil Rights or the New Jersey Superior Court. In cases where sexual harassment is found to have occurred, complainants may pursue back wages and other monetary compensation for their ordeal. Employees may also be entitled to be reinstated in a job that they were wrongfully terminated because of their objections to the sexual harassment they were experiencing.

Source: NJ.gov, "Sexual Harassment - Your Rights", January 05, 2015

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