Most people are already aware that the workplace is not the preferred location for telling crude jokes or making remarks that are sexual in nature. However, some individuals are still laboring under the false belief that such activities are permissible as long as they are whispered to coworkers who are not offended by those activities.
As touched upon in one of our earlier blog posts, there are two forms of sexual harassment that are prohibited under title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. One form of sexual harassment discrimination is known as "quid pro quo". Most commonly, this occurs when a superior demands sexual favors from a subordinate in exchange for certain advantages. The other form of sexual harassment occurs when individuals are creating a "hostile work environment" for other employees through their words or actions
Using the analogy stated earlier, it is easy to understand how even a whispered sexually-related joke or comment might make a coworker feel as though he or she was working in a hostile environment. Even if it were not related directly towards them.
One of the unique provisions of the sexual harassment law is that injured parties do not have to show that they have suffered any economic loss, nor do they have to show that they have been fired from their jobs. This differs from most other types of lawsuits in that an individual plaintiff usually has the burden of showing that a party has injured them in some physical or economic manner.
Based in Nutley, New Jersey, our law firm has extensive experience representing employees in sexual harassment claims. We have previously handled various employment law cases involving private employers, corporations and municipal entities. Prospective clients can reach us either by phone or online.