Sexual harassment is a specific type of illegal workplace harassment that negatively affects an employee’s work environment. Sexual harassment may take place where a supervisor demands sexual favors in exchange for a job benefit such as the following:
- Job assignment
However, illegal sexual harassment does not necessarily require proof of sexual favors being demanded. Any conduct that occurs because of a person’s sex or gender including denigrating sexual or even non-sexual remarks, non-verbal hostile conduct such as physical touching or even ostracism may constitute illegal sexual harassment. If the hostile workplace conduct is because of an employee’s sex or gender, then the victim may have a sexual harassment claim.
Like other forms of illegal workplace harassment, if the sexual harassment is severe or pervasive, then the employer may be liable for damages for the emotional distress that the victim suffers. Also, it is the employer’s legal obligation to prevent sexual harassment from occurring, promptly investigate any allegations, and take steps to end the sexual harassment.
If the sexual harassment is so severe as to be egregious or coercive, then a sexual harassment victim may claim that she/he cannot take it anymore, quit, and bring a constructive discharge claim.
If you have been the victim of sexual harassment, please contact Green Savits, LLC today to schedule your initial consultation. Our employment law attorneys serve clients in Northern and Central New Jersey.