It is illegal for New Jersey businesses to discriminate against their employees on the basis of their sex. Additionally, both male and female employees are legally protected against sexual harassment and retaliation. However, employees who experience sexual harassment often fail to file complaints against the supervisors, co-workers or other individuals hired by the company.
There are many reasons that employees may refrain from filing sexual harassment complaints. For the most part, many fear that the complaints could keep them from being able to seek employment elsewhere, especially if the industry is close or difficult to break into. Additionally, there are fewer women than men in certain industries, and thus some female employees may not be willing to risk their position should their employers retaliate against them.
While many employees do not file lawsuits against their employers, it should be noted that most employers may settle a case if they fear that they will lose in court. For example, if a male or female employee presents strong evidence that there was a sexual harassment issue and that they were retaliated against when they complained, it is likely that the employer will seek to settle by offering a settlement. If the evidence against the employer is not strong or the employer believes that they might win the case, however, the lawsuit may go to court.
Employees who believe that they were wrongfully terminated after complaining of sexual harassment may wish to obtain the advice of an attorney in order to determine if the employee has a case against their former company. An employment law attorney may also assist with gathering any evidence that supports the employee's case, including emails, phone records and notes. The first step in such an action is often the filing of a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.