Sexual harassment is still a problem in workplaces across the U.S. and the State of New Jersey is no exception. This is true despite our advances as a society toward gender equally. It is true despite federal protections, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which makes it illegal to discriminated based on an individual’s gender when it comes to employment terms and conditions. It is also true despite the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination which prohibits harassment based on a protected characteristic, such as gender.
Despite its persistence, it is important to hold those responsible for perpetrating such behavior accountable. Whether the harassment involves sexually explicit comments, offensive conduct, or even physical contact, the law is on your side to not only stop the behavior, but to hold the perpetrator accountable and even recover financial compensation. You must have the necessary supporting evidence, however, to support your sexual harassment claim so that it is successful.
How to Strengthen Your Sexual Harassment Claim
It is far too common for a sexual harassment claim to turn into a he said, she said situation. It is your word against theirs. It may have started with an offhand comment the harasser made when just the two of you were present, but this type of behavior can escalate. To protect yourself and any sexual harassment claim you may bring down the road, it can be critical for you to take concerted action in working to protect and strengthen that claim. Here are some ways you can do just that.
For starters, keep a record of all incidents of sexual harassment. This record should be as detailed as possible and so you should mark what was said, as well as the date and time. You should also note the location and whether there were any witnesses to the harassing behavior. As a rule of thumb, note any incidence of inappropriate behavior or comments.
If the alleged perpetrator of sexual harassment sent you any manner of correspondence, whether it be texts, emails, or even handwritten notes, save it in a safe place. Your initial reaction may be to delete or throw something like this away in disgust, but it is best to keep it as it could be vital in supporting and strengthening your sexual harassment claim. If the correspondence was electronic, print it out so you can have a hard copy of it as well.
You should also be prompt in reporting any incidence of harassment to your supervisor or to human resources. New Jersey employers must have sexual harassment prevention policies in place which must include how employees can and should report incidents of harassment. Be sure to report the harassment in writing. Keep a record of how the receiving and processing of the report was handled. Specifically, not whether anything resulted from or changed due to your report being filed.
Employment Law Attorneys
Have you been a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace? Do not delay in reaching out to the dedicated team at Castronovo & McKinney. Contact us today.