Sexual Harassment and Retaliation in New York and New Jersey
The law protects people who report misdoings at their workplace. Unfortunately, employers do not always adhere to these laws. Companies have been known to shun, demote, or even fire employees who make workplace sexual harassment or discrimination claims – or even those who have cooperated in a sexual harassment or discrimination investigation. If you have suffered retaliation due to a sexual harassment case, legal remedies are available in addition to compensation you may receive linked to the sexual harassment charges.
The sexual harassment and retaliation attorneys at the Arcé Law Group are your allies in the fight against unfair work practices. We staunchly advocate for NJ, NY & PA employee rights and stand ready to swiftly resolve your employment retaliation case – so you can get your life back. Our employment lawyers service clients in New York City, Pensylvania and throughout New Jersey, including Princeton, Newark, and Jersey City.What is Workplace Retaliation?
In terms of employment law, retaliation is behavior that seeks to make employees afraid to speak up against unfair practices at work, complain, or assert their rights. Retaliation is different from harassment or discrimination as it typically occurs after there has been a report of illegal or unethical conduct. An employer’s retaliation leads to adverse employment actions for the employee. If the terms or conditions of your employment have been negatively affected after you made a complaint of harassment or we involved in an investigation, you may be a victim of employment retaliation.
Commons reasons for workplace retaliation include whistle-blowing against fraudulent practices, asserting your right to workers’ compensation or protected family or medical leave, and reporting sexual harassment and discrimination.Retaliation and Sexual Harassment
Under the law, victims are free to report, complain, or file a charge of sexual harassment without threat of negative employment action. However, many employers try to thwart their legal duties.
Under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination and the New York Human Rights Law, retaliation is prohibited when you:
- Complain of sexual harassment to your boss
- File an internal complaint of harassment to Human Resources
- File a charge of sexual harassment to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
- Bring a lawsuit to federal, state, or municipal court
- File a charge of sexual harassment to the Division of Human Rights or the Commission on Civil Rights in either New York or New Jersey
- Participate in a harassment proceeding
- Become involved in a harassment investigation by the courts, EEOC, or police
- Opposed harassment in any way in the workplace
The concept of retaliation isn’t as simple as you were terminated for reporting harassment – a whole slew of harmful workplace behavior could be considered retaliation in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.
Since you reported harassment or were involved in an investigation, have you:
- Been treated poorly at work?
- Been punished unfairly?
- Been fired?
- Been demoted?
- Received an undue pay cut?
- Been harassed or threatened?
- Been shunned or excluded from meetings and projects?
- Been abused by your managers?
- Been given the cold shoulder?
- Been passed over for a promotion when you deserved one?
- Been relocated or reassigned suddenly?
- Been harmed physically?
- Been harassed online?
If the answer to one or more of those questions is yes, you might be a victim of retaliation. Have an experienced employment attorney at the Arcé Law Group review your case and decide if you have a claim worth pursuing.
Important facts about retaliation
Here is some information about retaliation you may not have known:
- The charge of harassment need not be proven to be true
- You do not need to be the target or victim of the harassment
- If you are a witness to harassment, you are protected from retaliation
- Anti-retaliation laws extend to those who cooperate with an internal or state investigation, even if they were not the target of harassment
To prove retaliation, you must show a causal relationship between the protected activity – i.e. reporting harassment – and the adverse employment actions your employer took. This can be difficult. It requires the skill and experience of an employment lawyer at the Arcé Law Group.
As a victim, you can file a separate claim of retaliation in addition to sexual harassment charge. Depending on where you work, when the acts occurred, and the specifics of the case, you may choose to file a claim with:
- The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
- Federal, state, or municipal court
- The New York Division of Human Rights
- The New York Commission on Civil Rights
- The New Jersey Division on Civil Rights
Whistle-blowers and advocates should be rewarded, not mistreated. The employment law attorneys at the Arcé Law Group strongly believes in standing up for your rights in the workplace. If you believe you were the victim of workplace retaliation, contact our employment lawyers today at 212-248-0120 or fill out our contact form for a free initial consultation.