Every New Jersey employee has the right to enjoy a safe workplace that is free of discrimination, harassment and bullying. Sadly, many individuals face discrimination and harassment because of their sexual orientation, race, sex or religion. While most workplaces have policies prohibiting offensive comments and actions; many fail to take appropriate steps to enforce these policies.
A New Jersey Transit employee recently filed a lawsuit against his employer related to sexual harassment. According to the lawsuit, the man was the subject of a two-year campaign of constant harassment and bullying by co-workers.
In the lawsuit, the man asserts co-workers routinely made disparaging and inappropriate comments related to his sexual orientation. Additionally, the man details incidents in which co-workers displayed drawings of a sexual nature in a restroom and where another co-worker physically grabbed him from behind.
In an effort to stop the sexual harassment, the man reported these incidents to his employer. While it appears an investigation into the man's claims was conducted, no action was taken by his employer to address or stop the harassment and discrimination. The employer's inaction is surprising given the existence of explicit language in the employee handbook prohibiting co-workers from inquiring about a co-worker's sexual orientation or engaging in acts related to "unwanted touching".
This case is an example of how many companies, even those with sexual harassment and discrimination policies, fail employees. Individuals who are victims of workplace sexual harassment, bullying and discrimination often suffer tremendous emotional, mental and financial hardships and deserve compensation related to the negligent acts of an employer.
Source: North Jersey.com, "Transit employee alleges sexual harassment," Karen Rouse, Sep. 5, 2013