Articles Posted in Sexual Harassment

Published on:

The law in New Jersey is frequently changing. One way changes occur is through case decisions by the Appellate Division court or the New Jersey Supreme Court. Another occurs when the state legislature decides that the law, as currently written, doesn’t reflect what the law should be, and enacts an amendment. These changes, whether via court ruling or legislative action, represent a key reason for having an experienced New Jersey employment lawyer on your side for your discrimination or harassment case. The right attorney can provide you with the benefit of both powerful legal experience and the most up-to-date knowledge of the law.

Back in 2019, one of those very important changes to statutory employment law occurred in New York. In October of that year, a critical amendment to that state’s Human Rights Law went into effect.

New York law, as modified by the 2019 bill, specifically says that “harassment need not be severe or pervasive in order for the employer to be liable.” This is a very substantial change that will make winning harassment cases much easier for harmed workers in New York in the future.

Continue reading

Published on:

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s guidelines state that sexual harassment can take many forms. It can be an unwanted sexual advance. It can be a request for sexual favors or punishment for failing to provide those favors. Sexual harassment can be subtle. These subtle forms can be just as harmful as egregious forms to an employee who fears losing her job if she doesn’t “play along.” If you’ve found yourself in that position, don’t suffer in silence. Instead, reach out without delay to contact an experienced New Jersey sexual harassment attorney to learn more about the legal options available to you.

Many people probably call to mind a certain image when they think of sexual harassment. The famous movie Disclosure turns 27 this year. In that film, Michael Douglas’s character is punished at work for rejecting the overt sexual advances of his supervisor (played by Demi Moore.)

As a worker in New Jersey, it is important to recognize that you do not necessarily need to prove something as severe as what happened to that fictional character to have a viable case of sexual harassment in this state. The sexual harassment case of B.B., which was settled recently according to a nj.com report, is a good example.

Continue reading

Published on:

With coronavirus numbers surging, Gov. Phil Murphy has stated that a new statewide lockdown is “on the table,” according to news reports. Whether or not the state enters a new lockdown, the state’s skyrocketing COVID-19 cases will likely lead to more and more employers considering remote work for their employees. That, in turn, will likely mean more and more use of technology platforms like Zoom or Microsoft Teams. However, as we’ve seen from recent headlines and news stories, this type of work environment presents its own risks when it comes to discrimination and sexual harassment. If you’ve suffered discrimination or harassment in a virtual meeting, don’t wait… reach out to an experienced New Jersey workplace discrimination attorney today to discuss your legal options.

The use of new technology like Zoom has proven to be fertile ground for both embarrassing blunders and offensive misconduct. These incidents have included a woman who inadvertently broadcast herself on the toilet during a Zoom call; a Brazilian government worker accidentally captured having sex during a Zoom call, and a prominent TV legal analyst who accidentally broadcast his act of self-gratification during an election simulation call with colleagues from the New Yorker.

Some of these stories may yield laughs from readers, but this actually points to a serious issue. Sexual harassment can occur in many ways and isn’t limited to face-to-face encounters. Being involuntarily exposed to unwanted comments, jokes, or material of a sexual nature can also be a form of sexual harassment, even when it happens over Zoom.

Continue reading

Published on:

An ancient Chinese proverb says that a “journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” This wisdom recognizes that, to accomplish any undertaking, you must first take that initial step (and, implicitly, keep taking each step and clearing each hurdle one at a time) until you reach your destination. Your discrimination or harassment case can be a lot like that. It may seem massive, overwhelming and intimidating at first but, with the aid of a skilled New Jersey employment attorney, you can clear all the hurdles and achieve a positive result… one step at a time.

One of the most important steps in any discrimination case is clearing the hurdle presented by the defense’s motion for summary judgment. If you don’t clear this hurdle, then your case is thrown out without a trial and you recover nothing. Additionally, for workers who are open to settlement, it is often the case that employers’ settlement offers will become much larger and fairer after they’ve lost their motions for summary judgment as compared to before that outcome.

Defeating a defense motion for summary judgment does not require providing the court with as much proof as you’d need to win at trial. For example, look at the recently decided case of N.H., a New Jersey college professor.

Continue reading

Published on:

In this blog and elsewhere, you may see phrases like “act today” and “don’t delay” when considering contacting an experienced New Jersey employment attorney if you think you’ve been the victim of workplace discrimination and/or harassment. That’s good advice, because, while there are many reasons people might feel the urge to delay taking action, none of them will help, and none will be any comfort, when a potentially winnable discrimination case gets dismissed because it was filed too late.

Consider the lawsuit filed by S.J., a legal administrative assistant in the Morristown office of a major multi-state law firm, as a cautionary tale. According to the woman, I.S., one of the male attorneys working in the office’s labor and employment department began engaging in inappropriate sexual conduct in 2014, including sexually explicit texts and non-consensual touching of her breasts and genitals.

Allegedly, the assistant complained about the attorney to her office administrator but, rather than take action, the administrator told the assistant “that if she was unhappy…, she should look for another job.” Eventually, the firm fired S.J. in June 2017.

Continue reading

Published on:

Without question, progress has been made when it comes to eradicating discrimination and harassment in New Jersey workplaces. Sometimes, though, a case comes along and reminds us all that harassment is far from eliminated… and that serious dangers still exist in some New Jersey workplaces. If you endured harassment on the job, don’t ever be fooled into thinking that it is something you just have to accept and “put up with.” Instead, reach out to an experienced New Jersey employment attorney who can provide you with options to help you protect yourself (and perhaps others in your workplace, too.)

When it comes to reminding everyone that workplace harassment is still a serious problem in this state, a story from a police department in Union County undeniably does just that. As reported by the New York Post and mycentraljersey.com, the work environment at this particular police department was one where calling it “hostile” might be an understatement.

The central harasser, according to the complaint, was an internal affairs officer who frequently wielded an extremely large sex toy at the workplace. Allegedly, the sex toy’s appearance was not just an occasional thing, as one officer was “tortured” with the device “on an almost daily basis.”

Continue reading

Published on:

Part of what makes certain types of harassment and discrimination, such as quid pro quo sexual harassment, so insidious is that they often leave the victim with the sense that she is powerless, and that her harasser has all the power. That is doubly true if the harasser is, in fact, a politically or professionally powerful person. Don’t fall into that trap of hopelessness. If you’ve experienced quid pro quo sexual harassment, you are entitled to sue, and you may be entitled to receive significant compensation. Reach out to a skilled New Jersey sexual harassment attorney without fear and without delay to find out what options exist for you.

It’s one thing (and an undoubtedly agonizing thing) when your sexual harasser is some low-level supervisor. Imagine how much more stressful it may be when your harasser is a powerful person like a judge! That was the situation facing C.S., a probation officer, in her discrimination and harassment case.

The alleged harasser was the top trial court judge in the county where C.S. lived. They met at a holiday party and exchanged telephone numbers. According to C.S.’s court papers, she visited the judge’s chambers after hours and, although she didn’t want to, she gave into the judge’s insistence to have sex with him. The judge allegedly called the pair’s sexual interaction a “business relationship.”

Continue reading

Published on:

Like many personal relationships, the best attorney-clients relationships are based on trust and communication. If you’re not being honest with your attorney or not communicating with your attorney, it could lead to problems that will harm your case. That’s why it is important to recognize that your employment discrimination or harassment case requires, not just a skilled New Jersey employment attorney, but the right attorney with whom you can forge a strong relationship in order to get the best outcome for you.

A recent case from Union County is an unfortunate example. L.A., the employee, was a worker at a health insurance entity’s office. In 2017, she sued her employer for discrimination and sexual harassment. Attorneys for the employer and employee discussed possibly settling the case in late 2018, with employer initially offering $25,000. L.A.’s position started at $95,000 but she eventually lowered that to $90,000.

L.A. and her legal team communicated on Oct. 31. As the employer increased its offers, L.A.’s legal team reached out on Nov.2, Nov. 3, Nov. 4 and Nov. 5, with each message expressing an increasing degree of urgency that the client contact the law office immediately. L.A. didn’t respond to any of those November messages, and that created a problem, as the judge was on the verge of entering a ruling.

Continue reading

Published on:

For too many workers, their workplace is not a safe place. For some, that means something like being a construction worker at a dangerous site where safety rules and regulations are routinely flouted. For others, it means something very different, but potentially as dangerous. These workers, most of whom are women but many of whom are men, face a job site where they face daily threat of harm – be it psychological, physical or both – as a result of sexual harassment from a supervisor. When your employer fails to take action to protect you, you may eventually reach a breaking point where protecting your safety means resigning. Do not be misled into thinking that, just because you resigned, you cannot win a sexual harassment case under the Law Against Discrimination. Don’t give up, but instead do reach out to an experienced New Jersey sexual harassment attorney about your legal options.

S.W. was one of those workers who resigned and later sued. She worked as a marketing manager for an auto club in Wayne. Very soon after she began her job, the sexual harassment allegedly started. D.H., one of the club’s vice presidents, engaged in many forms of harassment, according to the lawsuit.

First, it was urging S.W. to “check out” the breasts of other women who had a “nice rack.” Then there allegedly was the time that the vice president showed her a hand-drawn image, which was supposed to be a membership goal thermometer, but was actually aroused male genitalia. After that, according to S.W., was the time that she was sitting on a folding table to conduct a meeting and the man (who by then was the president) made fun of S.W.’s sitting position, asking her if it was “an invite” as he made a pelvic thrusting motion. Allegedly, the harassment escalated to unwanted touching when the president “felt up her leg.”

Continue reading

Published on:

If you’ve been harmed as a result of workplace discrimination or sexual harassment, you’re probably looking for something that you consider to be “justice.” Sometimes, that justice is a money award or settlement, to make up for all the lost earnings and other financial harm you’ve suffered. Sometimes, it is a large money award or settlement to create positive change by discouraging your employer and others from engaging in similar wrongful conduct in the future. Still other times, it is about creating positive change through other means beyond just a money payment. Whatever form of justice you’re seeking as a result of your workplace discrimination or sexual harassment, the right New Jersey employment attorney can help get you there.

K.B., who was a staff member on Gov. Murphy’s 2017 campaign, was a woman who allegedly suffered a most egregious form of workplace sexual harassment. In April 2017, the head of the Murphy campaign’s Muslim and Latino outreach allegedly sexually assaulted K.B. in her apartment, nj.com reported. According to K.B.’s lawsuit, this happened after a different female staffer had submitted no fewer than three complaints about “a toxic work environment and workplace violence” within the campaign. K.B. subsequently sued the Muslim/Latino outreach director, the Murphy campaign, and the state for several violations, including violations of the Law Against Discrimination.

The campaign staffer’s lawsuit is a reminder of several important aspects of New Jersey anti-discrimination and harassment law. First, K.B.’s case is a reminder that, regardless of whether she had been a paid staffer or an unpaid volunteer, she had a right to seek a civil court award. Although the Law Against Discrimination does not make a specific statement including unpaid interns and volunteers within the law’s protections, the Director of the Division on Civil Rights has stated that both paid employees and volunteer workers are protected against discrimination and sexual harassment by the law.

Continue reading

Contact Information