Employment Lawyers Fighting for Workers’ Rights in New Jersey, Pennsylvania & Throughout the United States

Can Sexual Harassment Occur between Members of the Same Sex?

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes sexual harassment illegal if it based on the gender of the victim. This harassment does not need to be sexual in nature to be prohibited. While the law makes assumptions that harassers will only target people of one sex, it can still exist in cases when the harasser is straight and is of the same sex as the victim if it is motivated because of the victim’s sex. The attorneys at Swartz Swidler may be able to help you if you have been the victim of same-sex harassment at your job.

When sexual harassment can occur without a sexual motive

According to the U.S. Supreme Court, same-sex harassment that is not sexually motivated can exist when either of the following occurs:

  • A woman is harassed by another woman in the workplace in a sex-specific and derogatory manner to the extent that it is clear that the harasser has a general hostility to other females in the workplace; or
  • The victim has direct evidence to compare how the harasser treats both sexes and is able to show that the harasser treats members of his or her own sex in a discriminatory way.

In addition to proving that you have been the victim of same-sex harassment, you will also have to show that the harasser’s conduct was not just slightly tinged with offensive implications about your gender and that the conduct would not have happened if you were a member of the opposite sex.

Schedule an appointment today. Call (856) 685-7420 or

Schedule an appointment today.
Call (856) 685-7420 or

When the harasser is bisexual in his or her harassment

Some people harass members of both sexes and do not select their victims based on their genders. When this happens, the harassment is not a technical violation of federal law or the laws of most states.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Federal anti-discrimination laws are enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. To file a lawsuit in federal court, you must first file a claim with the EEOC. The deadline for filing your claim with the EEOC is normally 180 days from the time that the action occurs. However, if you must first file your claim with a state agency, the deadline for filing with the EEOC is extended to 300 days. The EEOC has limited resources and often issues right-to-sue letters, allowing you to retain a private attorney to pursue your claim in federal court.

If you file a claim with the New Jersey Division of Civil Rights, it must be filed within 180 days of the discriminatory act. In Pennsylvania, claims are filed with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. Like New Jersey, the state has a deadline of 180 days.

Do you need a lawyer for a same-sex harassment claim?

Getting help from a lawyer who is experienced in handling same-sex harassment claims is important. Discrimination claims can be complicated because the laws that govern their procedure may vary. An employment law attorney at Swartz Swidler may assist you with determining whether you have a valid claim and may help to make certain that you meet the deadlines of the EEOC and your state’s agency. Call us today to have your case evaluated.

Most Frequently Asked Question: Do I Have A Case?

While it is true that every case is different, The law is pretty clear in most cases. The best way to determine if you have a case is to contact one of our attorneys. For more information check out the FAQ below or visit our FAQ Page

Most Frequently Asked Question:
Do I Have A Case?

While it is true that every case is different, The law is pretty clear in most cases. The best way to determine if you have a case is contact one of our attorneys. For more information on a just a few scenarios checkout the flip box FAQ below or visit our FAQ Page.

Our Locations

Cherry Hill Headquarters

1101 Kings Hwy N
Suite 402
Cherry Hill, New Jersey 08034

Phone: (856) 685-7420
Fax: (856) 685-7417

Philadelphia Satellite Office

123 South 22nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Phone: (215) 995-2733

Our Locations

Cherry Hill Headquarters

1101 Kings Hwy N
Suite 402
Cherry Hill, New Jersey 08034

Phone: (856) 685-7420
Fax: (856) 685-7417

Philadelphia Satellite Office

123 South 22nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Phone: (215) 995-2733