Respected. Dedicated. Honest.

What counts as sexual harassment in the workplace?

On Behalf of | Jun 1, 2020 | Sexual Harassment |

“What a creep. How does he get away with it?”

People get away with sexual harassment because people do not report it. Around 75 percent of cases go unreported according to a 2016 report by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

In 2019 the EEOC only received 7514 reports of workplace sexual harassment and 5225 further sexual discrimination reports. Much more likely occurred.

What is the difference between sexual discrimination and sexual harassment?

  • Sexual discrimination: Your boss overlooks you for a promotion because you are a woman. You could also call this gender discrimination.
  • Sexual harassment: Your boss tells you they will promote you if you kiss them. There is a sexual nature to it.

The law considers two types of sexual harassment:

  • Hostile work environment: Someone does or says things of a sexual nature that makes your working environment unbearable.
  • Quid pro quo: Someone offers you something in exchange for sexual favors.

Your employer must ensure you have a safe work environment. If someone does any of the following while you are at work, whether they are your boss, a colleague, a client or a random person who has entered the premises, you could have a case for sexual harassment:

  • They make inappropriate sexual comments.
  • They comment on your appearance too much.
  • They ask you for sexual favors.
  • They touch you when you do not want them to.
  • They keep asking you out when you have said no.
  • They talk about sexual things in front of you.
  • They expose themself to you.
  • They send you sexual pictures or messages.

When does sexual harassment become sexual assault? 

Sexual assault is when your harasser takes things further, such as fondling you, touching you in an inappropriate place, trying to make you perform a sexual act or trying to rape you. If someone sexually assaults you consider pressing criminal charges.

If you suffer sexual discrimination or sexual harassment in your New Jersey workplace, you can pursue civil litigation. Deciding to bring a case is not always easy. You may be worried about the cost or how it will affect you at work. That is why it is essential to consult a New Jersey attorney who will give you honest advice.