New Jersey Same-Sex Sexual Harassment Attorney

In New Jersey, sexual harassment is considered an unlawful form of discrimination, including same-sex sexual harassment. Federal, state, and local laws not only apply to sexual harassment between men and women but also gender-based harassment of a person of the same sex as the harasser.  

At Castronovo & McKinney, LLC, our employment law practice is dedicated to helping workers fight back against sexual harassment in all its forms. Whether you are a man or a woman who has been the victim of same-sex sexual harassment,  we can help to protect your rights. Contact our Morristown or Manhattan office today to schedule a consultation. 

What Is Same-Sex Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment is illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), and the U.S. Supreme Court has held that Title VII applies to same-sex harassment. This form of harassment is also prohibited under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD). The legal reasoning is that harassment is an unlawful form of discrimination based on sex. Moreover, offensive conduct need not be motivated by sexual desire, but solely by the victim’s sex or gender.

As with other forms of harassment, same-sex sexual harassment may involve unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or any conduct or comments that are severe or pervasive enough to create a hostile work environment. While same-sex sexual harassment is illegal, many victims are not aware of their rights. In any event, employers can be held liable for failing to stop the offensive conduct.  

At Castronovo & McKinney, we understand that taking legal action against an employer is never easy. You should know that your employer can retaliate against you for complaining about workplace harassment. This means you cannot be fired, demoted, or disciplined for reporting same-sex sexual harassment. When you become our client, rest assured we will work tirelessly to protect your rights and your reputation. 

Identifying Same-Sex Sexual Harassment in New Jersey

Same-sex harassment can be difficult to identify, not because it doesn’t occur, but more likely because it often goes unreported. Nonetheless, same-sex harassment is basically the same as other types of workplace harassment, and there are two forms — quid pro quo harassment and hostile work environment: 

  • Quid-pro-quo harassment occurs when a person in a position of authority makes sexual advances toward or sexual demands from an employee of the same sex in exchange for an employment benefit.
  • A hostile work environment arises when unwanted touching or comments of a sexual nature by anyone in the workplace interferes with the victim’s ability to perform his or her job.

In addition, the courts have held that gender stereotyping may also constitute same-sex harassment. Examples include harassing a woman for being too “masculine” and telling her to act more like a woman, or teasing and humiliating a man for being too “feminine.” 

Regardless of the type of offensive conduct or comments you have faced in the workplace, no one should have to put up with same-sex harassment. The best way to protect your rights is to work with the sexual harassment attorneys at Castronovo & McKinney. 

Holding New Jersey Employers Accountable

While Title VII provides powerful legal protections, this federal law only applies to employers with 15 or more employees. Before filing a lawsuit, a victim of workplace harassment must file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). 

If the EEOC finds there is a legal basis for the claim and cannot resolve it through the conciliation process, the agency may issue the victim a right to sue letter. The LAD applies to most employers in New Jersey, however, and allows employees to take legal action without first reporting a claim to the Division of Civil Rights.

At Castronovo & McKinney, we have a proven history of successfully handling same-sex sexual harassment cases. Although employment-related disputes can often be resolved through negotiation or arbitration, we know our way around the courtroom. Ultimately, we must be able to show that your employer knew, or reasonably should have known, about the offensive conduct or comments and failed to stop it. 

To do so, we will conduct an extensive investigation, which includes obtaining employment files of the parties involved, collecting evidence of complaints you made, and identifying and interviewing witnesses. We will also take over all communications with your employer and their attorneys and make sure your rights are protected. If your same-sex sexual harassment claim is not resolved through settlement negotiations, we are always ready to litigate to achieve the best possible outcome. 

Although no two workplace harassment claims are alike, you may be entitled to compensation that includes lost wages and benefits, pain and suffering, and other damages. We understand your concerns about complaining about harassment and will address those concerns by providing you with informed representation and trustworthy advice. 

Contact Our Experienced New Jersey Same-Sex Sexual Harassment Attorneys

If you have been subjected to same-sex sexual harassment, don’t go it alone. Trust Castronovo & McKinney to always work in your best interests and help you stand up for your rights. Contact our office today to speak with an experienced sexual harassment attorney.