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New Jersey’s Sexual Harassment Training Requirements

By Thomas McKinney

Sexual harassment is a pervasive and seemingly unrelenting problem in the workplace. Workers have the right to be free of such harmful behavior, but the behavior persists, nonetheless. It can take many forms. Sometimes it is quid pro quo harassment where sexual demands are made by an employer in exchange for employment benefits or in order to avoid negative employment consequences. Other times a hostile work environment has been created because the harassing conduct has become so severe and so pervasive that it impacts the employee’s job performance.

Sexual harassment may be verbal or physical in nature. The fact is that sexual harassment comes in a variety of forms and all can be extremely damaging to the person being subjected to this behavior. To try and combat incidences of sexual harassment in the workplace, some states have passed laws requiring sexual harassment training.

What are New Jersey’s requirements for sexual harassment training? 

Mandated sexual harassment training is becoming more common. It is seen as a way to help prevent sexual harassment incidences. Employers can also help to limit the number of sexual harassment lawsuits that may arise by providing such training to employees. Currently, however, New Jersey does not mandate sexual harassment training for employees in the private sector.

New Jersey state government employees and supervisors are, however, required under New Jersey law to receive sexual harassment training. The mandated training is actually quite extensive and requires state employees and supervisors to complete the “New Jersey Policy Prohibiting Discrimination in the Workplace Training” course. The training is aimed at educating employees and supervisors on how to recognize discriminatory and harassing behavior and what to do if such behavior occurs in the workplace

While New Jersey private-sector employees are not required by law to provide sexual harassment training for all employees, it is still considered best practice to provide and require employees to undergo such training. When you educate employees on the rules of the workplace, you limit your legal liability and hopefully reduce the incidences of sexual harassment in the workplace as well.

Regardless of whether an employer chooses to provide employees with sexual harassment training or not, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination makes New Jersey employers responsible for working to prevent sexual harassment complaints and to properly address such complaints should they arise. New Jersey courts will look at what an employer was doing to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace and will also look at what the employer did to address any sexual harassment incidents that were brought to their attention.

New Jersey Employment Law Attorneys

Have you been the victim of sexual harassment in the workplace? It can make work intolerable, but still, you feel obligated to go to work to earn a living. No one should be put in such a position. If you feel like you have experienced sexual harassment at work, do not delay in reaching out to the trusted employment law team at Castronovo & McKinney. Contact us today.

About the Author
Tom McKinney is an experienced NJ Employment Lawyer in all major areas of labor and employment law, including discrimination, harassment, overtime violations, wage and hour claims, sexual harassment, wrongful discharge, Title VII, ADA, ADEA, FMLA, LAD, FLSA, and all other employment law claims. Tom is admitted to practice in the States of New Jersey and New York, United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Southern District of New York, District of New Jersey, and United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Prior to forming the firm, Tom practiced at Gibbons P.C. in Newark, NJ. If you have any questions regarding this article, contact Tom here today.