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Thaddeus P. Mikulski Jr

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Sexual Harassment

Advocating for Sexual Harassment Victims in New Jersey and Pennsylvania

Sexual harassment in the workplace is prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This is the same law that bars many kinds of discrimination including gender discrimination. Many states and cities also have their own laws protecting workers from sexual harassment. For example New Jersey enacted the NJ Law Against Discrimination (LAD) and Pennsylvania workers are covered by the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA.)

The Princeton sexual harassment lawyers at the Law Offices of Thaddeus P. Mikulski Jr. have 40 years of trial experience to provide you with effective representation. With practices in Bucks County, PA and Central New Jersey, we are ready and able to pursue a sexual harassment claim on your behalf to recover all compensation and remedies available to you.

Recognizing Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment can be defined as any unwelcome sexual advance or behavior that is hostile, intimidating, or creates an offensive working environment. Any behavior of a sexual nature is potentially harassment if it makes an employee uncomfortable. It does not have to take place between opposite genders, and the law does not distinguish as to the gender of the victim or harasser. The victim also does not have to be the person to whom the harassment was directed, but could be a person who was affected by the offensive behavior.

Sexual harassment can take many forms such as:

  • A coworker making demeaning comments about others based on gender
  • Posting sexually explicit jokes on an office intranet bulletin board
  • Sending email to colleagues with sexually explicit jokes or language
  • A supervisor demanding sexual favors for employment benefits
  • Making physically unwanted advances that are sexual in nature such as pinching or fondling

Your employer is responsible for maintaining an environment free of harassment and discrimination. Many employers have clear workplace policies barring these behaviors and provide training programs to raise awareness of what sexual harassment is so that it can be prevented. Your employer should also have a complaint procedure for cases of sexual harassment that do arise.

Obtaining Legal Advice

If you have experienced sexual harassment at your workplace, it is important to obtain experienced counsel from a Princeton sexual harassment lawyer who can advise you on how to proceed with a sexual harassment complaint. As a victim of sexual harassment you may be emotionally overwhelmed and intimidated by your situation at work. An experienced employment attorney can help you protect yourself in many ways. He/she should:

  • Help you determine how and to whom you should report the harassment – this is something that may be required by law or company policy to hold the employer responsible (unless the harasser is a manager)
  • Help you document the harassment and any conversations about it that take place with your employer
  • Prepare you for dealing with future harassment and reporting future incidents if it does not stop
  • Follow up on your complaint to make sure your employer does not engage in retaliation against you

Your employer is obligated by law to investigate your complaint. Any retaliatory measures against you such as removing you from projects, meetings, events, negative reviews, or termination are prohibited by law. If you are not satisfied with your employer’s response to your complaint, a sexual harassment lawyer can help you file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or your state’s anti discrimination agency.

Two Types of Claims

In legal terms there are two types of sexual harassment cases: quid pro quo and hostile work environment. Quid pro quo literally means something for something. This type of sexual harassment refers to when an employer pressures an employee for sexual favors in exchange for some benefit of employment such as a raise, promotion, or to avoid negative evaluations or termination. The pressure may be implicit or explicit. The employee is essentially intimidated into submitting to sexual demands to avoid adverse employment conditions. A quid pro quo sexual harassment claim is based on the assumption that the harasser has the authority to grant or withhold employment benefits – for instance a supervisor or manager. It must be shown that the harasser has this authority over the plaintiff for the claim to be successful.

A hostile work environment occurs when an employee endures abusive, offensive, or sexual conduct because of his or her gender. The hostile environment can be created by coworkers, supervisors, or even clients. The harassment can involve lewd and vulgar language and behavior, or be demonstrated in written materials such as posters or cartoons. Unwelcome touching and fondling also create a hostile work environment. If an employer knows of the existence of a hostile work environment but takes no action to stop it, they can be held liable.

Princeton Sexual Harassment Lawyers at the Law Offices of Thaddeus P. Mikulski, Jr Fight for Victims of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

At the Law Offices of Thaddeus P. Mikulski, we are committed advocates for those who have suffered harassment or discrimination in the workplace. Call 609-303-0222 today to consult with an experienced Princeton sexual harassment lawyer or contact us online.

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