Sexual harassment in the workplace is commonplace in New Jersey and people typically assume that the victims are women and the perpetrators are males, often in high-ranking positions. But men can also be victims of sexual harassment by women and other men. While federal and state laws protect both women and men against workplace harassment, male victims of sexual harassment face unique challenges.
At Castronovo & McKinney, LLC, we believe that everyone, regardless of sex or gender, is entitled to a work environment free from sexual harassment. Knowing that men are often reluctant to come forward out of fear of retaliation or not being taken seriously, we work to overcome these obstacles and protect our clients’ employment rights.
No one should put up with sexual harassment in the workplace. Contact our office today to speak with an experienced New Jersey sexual harassment lawyer.
Representing Male Victims of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Although women are more likely to be victimized, harassment of men occurs more frequently than many realize. In fact, data for sex-based harassment allegations recently compiled by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) shows that between 16 and 17 percent of harassment complaints were filed by men.
Meanwhile, there is a major popular misconception that sexual harassment against men is not as significant as harassment against women, or worse, that it is something to laugh about. Ultimately, male victims of sexual harassment are likely to be received with less sympathy than female victims. Moreover, male victims are believed to suffer less and require less time to recover.
While male victims of sexual harassment may be fewer in number than female victims, all victims of sexual harassment should be treated with equal respect and their claims taken seriously. That’s where Castronovo & McKinney come in. Our sexual harassment attorneys will take the time to understand your circumstances, explore all your options, and choose the best course of action.
What Is Sexual Harassment in New Jersey?
The first thing to know is that sexual harassment is considered an unlawful form of sex-based discrimination. The term “sex-based” means that both men and women are protected against harassment by employers, supervisors, coworkers, and third parties (e.g. vendors, clients, customers).
There are two types of harassment — quid pro quo and hostile work environment:
- Quid pro quo harassment occurs when a person in a position of authority, including a female supervisor or manager, makes unwanted sexual advances or demands in exchange for a benefit of employment (e.g. job offer, raise, promotion).
- Hostile work environment involves unwelcome comments, conduct, or displays by anyone in the workplace that are severe and pervasive enough to create an abusive, offensive, or hostile environment.
Examples of unlawful workplace harassment include:
- Visual conduct — Staring, leering, displaying offensive objects, pictures, posters, or cartoons of a sexual nature
- Verbal conduct — Offensive gestures, slurs, jokes, or commentaries about a person’s gender
- Physical conduct — Unlawful touching, groping
Other actions, such as threatening or taking retaliatory action (e.g. firing, demotion, pay cut) against a male employee who refuses sexual advances, also constitute sexual harassment.
In any event, workplace harassment is a common occurrence that can have lasting repercussions, not the least of which is emotional, financial, and reputational harm. The best way for male victims of sexual harassment to fight back is to work with an experienced employment lawyer.
Rights of Male Victims of Sexual Harassment
Under both federal and state law, men have the same right to a harassment-free workplace as women do. Employers should not tolerate disparaging remarks, sexual behavior, offensive jokes, or unwanted physical contact against women and men alike.
If you are a man who has been sexually harassed at work, you should immediately take the following steps:
- Keep all records of emails, text messages, memos, and other documents that may be discriminatory or harassing in nature
- Maintain a written log of all instances of sexual harassment including the date and time, the identity of the alleged perpetrator, your response, and any witnesses to the harassment.
- Report the harassment to a supervisor or human resources personnel
You should know that an employer who fails to stop sexual harassment by a supervisor can be held directly liable. An employer that knows, or reasonably should have known, about harassment by coworkers or third parties may also be held liable.
Why Choose Castronovo & McKinney LLC?
The best way for men to fight back against sexual harassment is to have the powerful representation we provide. When you decide to take your case, our legal team will:
- Collect the necessary evidence to support your sexual harassment claim
- Identify and interview corroborating witnesses
- Handle all communications with your employer and opposing counsel
- Negotiate a favorable settlement
- File a sexual harassment lawsuit if necessary
Rest assured, our sexual harassment lawyers will work to protect your rights and reputation in and out of the courtroom and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Contact Our Experienced New Jersey Sexual Harassment Attorneys
Anyone in the workplace can be impacted by sexual harassment, regardless of sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity. If you are a man who has been subjected to harassment in your workplace, trust the team at Castronovo & McKinney to stand by you every step of the way. Contact our office today to get started.
Castronovo & McKinney, LLC helps male clients with their sexual harassment claims throughout New Jersey including Bergen County, Essex County, Middlesex County, and Morris County as well as the cities Hackensack, Newark, New Brunswick, and Morristown.