Employment Law

Harassment Against Women

a07933e7421030bd16d5_f526175717599df6c138_fred.jpg
Fred Shahrooz Scampato

Sexual and gender harassment have been around for as long as women have been in the workplace. While New Jersey is a progressive state to work in, being here does not ensure that the workplace will be free of harassment against women. The purpose of this article is to define the different forms of harassment against women, explain the applicable civil rights law and provide women with a roadmap as to what to do in case they are the victims of harassment.

New Jersey recognizes two forms of sexual harassment. The first is called quid pro quo harassment and that essentially means that a harasser is demanding something of a sexual nature from a woman in exchange for a threat or a promise regarding her employment status. For example: harasser – “if you have sex with me then I won’t fire you.” Or, harasser – “if you rub my back, I will give you a raise.”

The second kind of harassment is called hostile work environment. Hostile work environment harassment occurs where oral discussions, slurs or jokes; writings or other tangible things (e.g. - photos, videos and posters) are communicated within the work environment to such an extent that a reasonable person would believe that due to the sexual talk or conduct, the conditions of work have been altered to the extent that they would be considered intimidating, hostile or abusive. Generally the more severe and common place the hostility, the greater the likelihood that it would constitute a hostile work environment.

Sign Up for E-News

Isolated incidents or petty slights are generally not sufficient to create a hostile work environment. The more ambiguous conduct is, the less likely that it would be considered to be sexual harassing. Additionally, consensual flirting or romantic relationships would not normally be considered to constitute actionable harassment.

Gender harassment occurs when a male demonstrates from his conduct that he is prejudiced against women and treats their gender as being inferior. In other words, a male supervisor or a fellow employee is acting in a sexist way towards women in the workplace. Examples of this would include sexist jokes or slurs, including derogatory gender-based nicknames. Another example may be bullying, insulting, demeaning or intimidating conduct directed towards female reports or co-employees.

Women have a right to work in a harassment-free environment. The aforementioned types of harassment are prohibited by New Jersey law. Specifically, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, N.J.S.A. 10:5-1, et. seq. (LAD), one of the toughest anti-discrimination laws in the country, protects women from unlawful harassment. The LAD was specifically designed to "eradicate the cancer of discrimination" in employment in New Jersey.

If you encounter sexual or gender harassment as described above, then there are steps that you can take to stand up for your civil rights and eliminate it from your workplace. Initially, fully document all incidents of harassment down in writing. Keep these notes or writings at home, not work. If you communicate with others, including an employment law attorney, do so on your personal email account and don’t use your business email. Next, review your employer’s employment handbook and carefully read the sections relating to harassment and the company’s complaint procedures. Then, find out who you are to communicate your harassment complaint.

Finally, as quickly as possible, set up a meeting with an experienced employment law attorney to listen to your facts, provide you with advice as to whether you have a legitimate claim of sexual harassment, explain the law to you in simple and understandable terms and competently and carefully guide you through the steps of the company's complaint procedures. The attorney can maximize the chances that your complaint will considered seriously and addressed quickly.

Also, if after you have submitted your internal complaint, you find that your employer is trying to discourage you or retaliate against you for raising your complaint, then your attorney can step forward and handle the situation directly through litigation or through alternative dispute resolution means.

The Law Office of Fred Shahrooz-Scampato will provide you with a free 15-minute telephone consultation where you can share the facts of your situation, obtain information about the law that is involved and provide you with options for moving forward. If at the conclusion of the telephone call we determine that you may have a viable claim of sexual or gender harassment, we will then invite you in for a longer face to face meeting where we can discuss your situation in greater detail. Please feel free to call us at 908-301-9095.

 

Whether you are an employer looking for assistance with employment law issues, or an employee who feels unfairly treated, Fred Shahrooz Scampato can provide you with the benefit of his over twenty years experience in employment law. His goal is to prevent workplace problems from becoming costly litigation. He can be reached at Scampato@aol.com, Scampato@njlaborlaw.com or 908-301-9095. Visit his website at www.njlaborlaw.com.
 

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Westfield

Fanwood Resident Struck, Killed by NJ Transit Train

January 16, 2018

ELIZABETH, NJ — The man fatally struck by a New Jersey Transit train in Elizabeth near the Broad Street station late Saturday night has been identified as 24-year-old Emmanuel Laboy from Fanwood, according to a report by NJ.com.

Laboy, earned a Master’s Degree in International Relations and Affairs from Columbia University in 2017 and a BA degree in political science a ...

Synopsis of Westfield Board of Education Organization Meeting Jan. 9

January 11, 2018

ORGANIZATION OF BOARD 

Business Administrator Dana Sullivan acknowledged Lynn Benner, Kent Diamond and Peggy Oster, who were elected to three-year terms on the Westfield Board of Education on Nov. 7, 2017, and sworn into office prior to the start of the Jan. 9, 2018 meeting.  Ms. Ohlig was nominated to continue as president of the Westfield Board of ...

Westfield Memorial Library Opens Weiss Family Jazz Series with David Leonhardt Trio

January 16, 2018

On Saturday, Feb. 3, at 2 p.m., the Westfield Memorial Library opens the three-part Weiss Family Jazz Series with the popular David Leonhardt Trio. The library is located at 550 East Broad Street.

An internationally acclaimed jazz pianist and composer, Leonhardt and The David Leonhardt Jazz Trio will play music from American Song Book standards by composers like Gershwin and Cole ...

Westfield Police Blotter: Multiple Cars Stolen from Driveways

January 10, 2018

January 3, 2018 8:18 p.m.

Officers Natale and Martinez arrested Jared Banksy, 18, of Tallahassee, FL, for possession of marijuana under 50 grams pursuant to a motor vehicle stop in the area of 100 Central Avenue. Subject was transported to headquarters, processed and released with a complaint summons.

 

January 3, 2018 8:20 p.m.

A business in the area of 200 West South Avenue ...

Addressing Anxiety in Adolescents

January 16, 2018

Anxiety can be one of the most unpleasant emotions that people feel. The word “anxiety” describes periods of fear, worry, nervousness, and restlessness.

Anxiety comes with thoughts of danger and helplessness. Life experiences, especially those that occurred in childhood and adolescence, often determine our perception and expectations of threats and vulnerability.

We react with ...

Garwood Family Center YMCA Students Honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Garwood Family Center YMCA students honored the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by learning about his role in history.

The Garwood Family Center YMCA is a branch of the Westfield Area YMCA. To learn more about full-day and half-day early learning programs, summer camp, and before and after school care for Garwood students, contact Director Shannon McGillis Jackson ...

Dog Found in Roselle Still Being Held at Newark Shelter

A dog that was found on Jan. 9 is still being held at the Newark Animal Shelter because no owner has claimed him. 

Roselle Police said the dog was found in the area of the Roselle side of Warinanco Park. The dog has a distinct blue eye and brown eye. Police also said the animal was checked and had no chip or tags. 

The Newark Animal Shelter has ...

290 Hands Create Mural at Westfield’s Jefferson School

The year 2017 ended on a bright note at Jefferson Elementary School in Westfield as students put the finishing touches on the giant mural spanning the building’s main hallway. A total of 290 third, fourth and fifth grade students each participated in 20-minute sessions creating scenes which represent their school and town. Jefferson traditions such as Walk to School Day, the ...

Governor Signs Legislation — Breastfeeding is Now a Protected Category Under the NJ Law Against Discrimination

Effective Monday, January 8, 2018, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination was amended to include breastfeeding as a protected status. As a result, an employer cannot refuse to hire, cannot discharge and cannot treat someone adversely with regard to the terms, conditions or privileges of their employment because that employee is breastfeeding and needs workplace ...

The New Tax Plan: When It Comes To Real Estate, There are Still Winners

Let’s see who wins and who may lose.

We have all heard a lot about the new tax plan. Depending on your individual financial situation, you may have a positive or negative take on the tax bill. But how does it impact real estate? That also depends on a few things, like where you are buying a house, how much money you have, and what you intend to do with it.

The new tax plan has had a ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast Medical Minute – Winter Weather Edition

On this episode of AtlantiCast Medical Minute, learn how to take the fight to Old Man Winter, while staying safe! Learn some winter health tips with Anthony Brutico, MD, Medical Director of the Emergency Department at Newton Medical Center.

 

Mark Zuckerberg Should Be Concerned About His Legacy; Punishing Legitimate Media Organizations and Small Businesses Isn’t the Answer; Regulation Is

Facebook recently announced it will be changing its feed and algorithms so that news from publishers and posts from businesses will be relegated in favor of posts about your neighbor’s cat. 

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook is making these changes because he is concerned about his legacy and that of the company he founded. If ...

Obituaries

Feb 28, 1946 - Dec 28, 2017
Mary Jo (Wade) Juelis, 71, formerly of Westfield, died peacefully on Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, ...
Read more

WalletHub Ranks NJ 2nd Worst State to Retire In

January 16, 2018

NJ — If it seems like everyone in New Jersey moves to Florida when it’s time to retire, there’s good reason. In a new study, finance website WalletHub ranks New Jersey the second worst state to retire in. Only Kentucky was ranked lower. Florida, on the other hand, was ranked no. 1.

WalletHub said it compared the 50 US states across 41 key metrics, with a data set ...