Types of Sexual Harassment
You have worked hard to achieve success in your profession. But — you are not getting the respect you deserve. Sexual harassment is the most common form of workplace harassment. These inappropriate behaviors come in many forms, and harassers could be anyone in your company. The employment attorneys of the Arcé Law Group are here to explore the various types of sexual harassment recognized in New Jersey, New York & Pennsylvania so you have a better understanding of what is acceptable in a place of employment in these states — and what is not.
The sexual harassment lawyers of the Arcé Law Group treat the needs of each client differently. We understand some workers just need some legal advice on how to proceed in their sexual harassment lawsuit. Other claims require our lawyers to negotiate between you and your employer. When our employment law lawyers do need to go to court or take your case to trial, our attorneys are prepared to handle the challenge. Our superior employment law legal team serves good, hard-working employees like you in New Jersey in and around Newark, Jersey City, and Princeton, NJ. We serve clients in New York City’s five boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, & Staten Island and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.Categorizations and Examples of Sexual Harassment in NJ, NY & PA
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the New Jersey, New York & Pennsylvania legal system recognize various kinds of behavior in the workplace as sexual harassment.
Types of unwelcome acts that may constitute sexual harassment include:
- Unwelcome sexual advances — includes unwanted come-ons, requests for sex, and requests for sexual favors.
- Requests for dates — unwelcome and repeated requests for dates may be considered sexual harassment.
- Sexist remarks — under federal law, you cannot make disparaging comments about a women’s sex or women in general. These comments do not have to be sexual in nature.
- Physical harassment — inappropriate touching, unwelcome contact, blocking someone’s path, or invading his or her personal space is illegal.
- Criminal sexual contact — rape and physical assault is punishable by law.
- Pictorial – includes sexually suggestive emails and text messages, social media site posts (e.g. Vine, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram).
- Inappropriate gift-giving — includes unwanted sexual gifts or “gag” gifts from colleagues or supervisors.
- Sexual coercion — when someone threatens, sweet-talks, or pressures you into performing sexual favors.
- Sexual orientation harassment — you cannot harass someone because they are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender, or if someone perceives you to be homosexual.
Sexual harassment is often a combination of these categorizations. Real harassers often run the gamut of all possible types of harassment because they have no sense of appropriateness or respect. The Arcé Law Group encounters clients from all over New Jersey, New York & Pennsylvania and have seen it all.Here are Some Concrete Examples of Sexual Harassment:
- Asking someone about their romantic or sexual history
- Sending inappropriate messages via text, email, or social media
- Whistling or cat-calling
- Offensive hugging and massaging
- Making sexual comments about a person’s appearance, body, or clothing
- Sharing offensive or pornographic imagery
- Making inappropriate sexual gestures
- Offering disparaging comments about a person’s sexual orientation or gender
Ordinary socializing amongst co-workers, including flirting and horseplay, will typically not support a finding of unlawful conduct. The offensive behavior must be must be hostile or abusive, creating an intimidating environment.
Unsure if your situation fits the bill? Our NJ attorneys are happy to meet with you for a confidential consultation to discuss your case. There is no cost or obligation for our first meeting.Severe or Pervasive Sexual Harassment in New Jersey
When determining whether the behavior you have endured is actionable — meaning the situation is bad enough that a case will stand up in court — the legal system applies the “severe” or “pervasive” test. This standard decides whether the harassment is sufficiently sufficient to violate the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination:
- Severe harassment — a one-off incident may be adequately serious if it is found to be “severe.” Such situations that may be considered severe include physical assault, rape, being fired for refusing sexual advances, and/or receiving a pay cut or demotion for rebuffing sexual come-ons from your supervisor.
- Pervasive harassment — “pervasive” means the harassment occurs over a period of time and effects several aspects of your work life. Pervasive harassment usually falls under the “hostile work environment” clause of the sexual harassment law. This means the harassment has gotten bad enough that it is negatively affected your job performance and emotional well-being.
Quid pro quo harassment and hostile work environment
You may have heard about quid pro quo harassment, which essentially means conditions of your employment are contingent on your submission or rejection to sexual advances. You are threatened with termination if you do not sleep with your boss. Or, you
Hostile work environment is much more common. An estimated 90% of all sexual harassment cases are hostile work environment claims. This would fall under the “pervasive” umbrella. If the actions of your co-workers or supervisors extend over a period of time creating an intimidating, offensive, or offensive workplace, you may be entitled to compensation.
Our Princeton, Newark, and Jersey City lawyers can explain in further detail when you come in for your free initial consultation.Who can Sexual Harassment Affect?
When most people think about sexual harassment in NJ, they picture a young woman being harassed by her misogynistic male boss. While this is often the case, harassment affects all types of workers within a company.
The law recognizes harassment between many groups of people in the workplace. Here are some examples:
- Men can be harassed by other men
- Men can be harassed by women
- Women can be harassed by other women
- The harasser could be young or old
- The victim could be young or old
- The harassment could occur between co-workers
- The harassment could occur between a supervisor and subordinate
- You can be harassed by someone who does not work for your company, such as a client, contractor, vendor, or customer
- The harassment does not need to be directed at you. If someone else withinyour organization is being harassed, and the offensive conduct affects you indirectly.
If your employer knew of the harassment and did nothing, or should have known of the harassment, they may be legally liable. Your employer has the legal responsibility
Don’t wait to talk to a sexual harassment lawyer in NJ, NY or PA about your case
We are not here to judge — the sexual harassment lawyers of the Arcé Law Group are here to fight for justice. Whatever your situation or circumstances, we stand ready to evaluate your case. To learn more and to receive a no-cost case evaluation, call us today at 212-248-0120. Alternatively, you can contact us online. All communication between you and your attorney is confidential and we do not charge any upfront fees and in most cases we do not take an attorney fee unless we recover for you in your sexual harassment case.
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