Historians cite 1974 as the year when the courts first heard a sexual harassment lawsuit. Today, the legal system provides a far better mechanism to punish those who harass employees and others. Even with laws in place, sexual harassment continues in New Jersey workplaces and elsewhere. Harassment takes many forms and could make a work environment hostile to those experiencing unwanted advancements.
Sexual harassment in the workplace
At work, someone may experience sexual harassment in the form of quid pro quo. That is, a supervisor could pressure an employee for sex in exchange for a promotion. Others may even make requests for sexual contact as the condition for remaining employed. Both actions, of course, are not allowed under the law.
Sexual harassment could include actions besides quid pro quo arrangements. Telling explicit jokes or conducting oneself in a manner that degrades others, such as inappropriate touching or comments, may be forms of sexual harassment. Sending unwanted and sexually explicit messages or images on an electronic device might also lead to sexual harassment claims.
A victim of workplace sexual harassment might not experience inappropriate behavior from a supervisor. Co-workers could also sexually harass someone. And if a co-worker harasses a colleague, questions arise about the management’s response to the situation. Supervisors who ignore complaints or who threaten employees to be quiet about harassment may expose themselves to liabilities.
Sexual harassment outside the workplace
An employer could harass an employee at a location away from work on a day outside or working hours. For example, the action could occur at a convention, expo, office party, and so on.
Sexual harassment may not even involve work. Harassment could occur in an educational environment, a political campaign office, and other settings. Any harassment, no matter where it occurs, could lead someone into severe legal jeopardies.
Sexual harassment takes place in many forms in the workplace and other environments. Victims of sexual harassment have rights under the law and could take steps to file a lawsuit. Consulting with an attorney to determine a course of legal action may prove necessary.