As a worker in New Jersey, you are entitled to expect that you can come to work and do your work in an environment free of sexual harassment. You are also entitled to expect that your employer will take the appropriate actions to protect you from all risks of sexual harassment about which it knows or should know, even if those risks come from people who are not employees of your employer. If you are harmed by sexual harassment that your employer couldn’t possibly anticipate, your employer still has an obligation to take all the remedial steps necessary to ensure that you’re protected going forward. If those things don’t happen, then your employer may be in violation of the Law Against Discrimination and you may be entitled to substantial compensation. Contact a knowledgeable New Jersey sexual harassment attorney to learn more.
A recent jury verdict from Essex County is a reminder of several of those above truths. The worker, D.S., was a 41-year-old woman who worked as a wealth manager at the Glen Ridge branch of a major bank. The harasser in this case was a customer in his 70s. The customer allegedly followed D.S. from the branch to her car one day, verbally harassing her. The harassment ultimately became physical, with the customer grinding his groin into the woman’s backside, according to NBC News.
The state charged the customer with sexual assault. According to D.S.’s complaint, the bank did nothing, despite the fact that the customer was already notorious for harassing female employees at the branch, especially women of color like D.S. The man’s past conduct had included, among other acts, at least one instance where he placed his head on a female mortgage rep’s breasts as he hugged her, Fox Business reported. That failure to act, according to the jury who heard the wealth manager’s case, was enough to establish that the bank had violated the Law Against Discrimination.