There are many types of workplace harassment, including visual sexual harassment. While many are aware that sexual advances and comments of a sexual nature are inappropriate and illegal, any type of offensive visual display or gesture may also be considered harassment. If you have been the victim of visual sexual harassment, turn to Castronovo & McKinney, LLC.
We are highly experienced in handling sexual harassment claims throughout New Jersey. Whether you have been subjected to offensive gestures, visual displays, or electronic communications, there should be zero tolerance for visual sexual harassment in your workplace.
When you consult with us, we will take the time to understand your circumstances and explore all of your legal options. We have a proven history of achieving positive outcomes through negotiation and employment litigation. Contact our Morristown or Manhattan office today to schedule a consultation.
What exactly is visual sexual harassment in New Jersey?
The first thing to know is that sexual harassment is illegal because it is considered a form of sex-based discrimination. One common scenario involves a supervisor making sexual advances toward an employee in exchange for a job benefit (e.g. raise, bonus, promotion); this is referred to as quid pro quo harassment.
Another form of harassment occurs when offensive comments or conduct by anyone in the workplace interfere with an employee’s ability to do his or her job. This form of harassment is known as a hostile work environment, and visual sexual harassment falls under this classification. This type of harassment may involve:
- Obscene gestures
- Offensive computer screensavers/wallpaper
- Email attachments
- Text messages
- Other visual displays
Regardless of the type of conduct or display, visual sexual harassment is a violation of federal and state law, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), which only applies to employers with 15 or more employees.
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) offers stronger legal protections because it applies to most employers in New Jersey and allows victims of sexual harassment to file a lawsuit without going through an administrative proceeding first. To have a valid claim under the LAD, you must be able to demonstrate that you were treated less well than other employees. You must also be able to prove that you complained about the harassment to a supervisor or responsible person and that your employer failed to stop the harassing behavior.
This is why is it so important to work with an experienced sexual harassment attorney. Our legal team is up-to-date on the current local, state, and federal anti-harassment laws and relevant court rulings and will make sure that you are treated fairly.
How Castronovo & McKinney Can Help
When you become our client, we will handle all the details of your claim, which starts with an extensive investigation. Our attorneys will:
- Obtain and review employee files
- Identify and interview witnesses (including the alleged harasser)
- Analyze computer data and electronic communications (emails, chat room dialogues, text messages)
Whether offensive posters were routinely displayed in your workplace, a coworker has been making offensive gestures, or someone was downloading sexually explicit images onto their computer or smartphone, an employer that knew or should have known about the offensive displays and failed to stop it may be held liable.
This is why it is important to follow your employer’s anti-harassment policy and reporting procedures. Doing so will make it difficult for your employer to claim that it was not aware of the offensive visual displays. A formal complaint will also serve as valuable evidence which we will rely on to prove your case.
Although we prefer to resolve workplace harassment claims through negotiations, we are always prepared to litigate in state court to achieve the best possible outcome. In any event, we are committed to protecting your rights and helping you obtain just compensation, including lost wages (back pay/front pay), pain and suffering, and liquidated damages.
Our firm also represents business clients who are facing sexual harassment claims and advises them on establishing robust anti-harassment policies and training programs. Above all, we are committed to helping employees and employers establish positive work environments free from sexual harassment.
Contact Our Experienced New Jersey Visual Sexual Harassment Attorneys
If you have been subjected to offensive gestures, leering, or visual displays in your workplace, you need the powerful representation that Castronovo & McKinney provides. Though victims of visual sexual harassment are often reluctant to come forward, state and federal laws also protect you against employment retaliation. You cannot be fired, demoted, or disciplined for complaining about harassment. Trust our legal team to protect your rights, your livelihood, and your reputation. Contact our office today so we can start working on your claim.