If you believe that you have been the victim of workplace sexual harassment, you may have legal rights. This refers to conduct of a sexual nature that occurs between co-workers or to unwanted sexual advances at work. Often, these types of actions interfere with your ability to perform your job duties and create work environments that are hostile, intimidating, or offensive. The attorneys at Swartz Swidler understand that sexual harassment can seriously impact victims and work to help their clients to ensure that those who are responsible face consequences for their actions.
Potential consequences for people who sexually harass co-workers
Sexual harassment at work is prohibited as a type of gender discrimination under both the anti-discrimination laws of New Jersey and of the federal government. If sexual harassment is reported, the harasser can suffer a number of consequences such as being reprimanded, demoted, or fired. If the harasser’s actions were serious enough to constitute sexual assault, the harasser may also be criminally prosecuted.
Potential consequences for employers
Employers that receive reports of sexual harassment and that fail to take appropriate action or that ignore the complaints may also face consequences. Workplace sexual harassment victims may file sexual harassment and discrimination charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights.
If the sexual harassment charge is found to be valid, an issue might be ordered that requires the employer to make a policy change and to pay damages. A civil lawsuit might also be filed through which the employer may be forced to pay substantial monetary damages. Finally, media coverage of the sexual harassment claim could lead to reputational harm for the company.
Consequences that the victims might face
When victims of sexual harassment report what happened to them, they may face consequences despite the fact that retaliation is illegal. These consequences might include the following:
- Reduction in pay
- Loss of benefits
- Denial of a promotion
- Constructive discharge
If you reported sexual harassment at your work and you suffered any of these types of retaliatory actions, you may have a separate claim for retaliation against your employer despite what happens to your sexual harassment claim.
Contact the employment lawyers at Swartz Swidler
The attorneys at Swartz Swidler are strong advocates for people who have suffered sexual harassment at the workplace. We are able to advise you of the rights that you might have and the steps that you should take next. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.