Sexual Harassment

If you are an employee that has experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, you undoubtedly feel afraid, confused, stressed and degraded.   You can call me to find out the impact on your case if the harasser files NJ Bankruptcy.

As a skilled New Jersey Sexual Harassment Lawyer, Ralph A. Ferro, Jr. recognizes that individuals need sound guidance in this often frustrating area of law. It is not easy to take a stand against your employer, especially when you feel your job and financial stability may be on the line.

Ralph Ferro, Jr. assures you of complete confidentiality in your case. His goal is to see that your harasser is held accountable for his or her actions.

Ralph Ferro, Jr. strives to provide superb legal guidance in all aspects of New Jersey sexual harassment issues including but, not limited to:

  • workplace sexual harassment
  • unwelcome jokes, gestures or comments of a sexual nature
  • sexually-suggestive objects or pictures displayed
  • unwelcome flirting
  • repeated and unwanted sexual advances
  • unwanted bodily contact
  • impeding or blocking movements
  • employer sexual propositioning or face being fired
  • superiors notification of the unwelcome behavior

Sexual Harassment Defined:

Sexual harassment is any unwanted and unwelcome sexual behavior. It involves a broad range of conduct, including such verbal harassment as derogatory comments, explicit sexual comments and descriptions of sexual exploits, leering or requesting sexual favors. The term also describes physical harassment, ranging from inappropriate touching to outright sexual assault. In order to be classified as illegal, the conduct in question must be both unwelcome and offensive to the victim.

Sexual harassment is a form of sexual discrimination, prohibited in employment settings under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title IX of the 1972 Education Act makes sexual harassment in schools or other educational settings unlawful. The Federal Fair Housing Act also provides protection against sexual harassment, and most states have enacted legislation making it unlawful.

As a legal term, “sexual harassment” is constantly being redefined and broadened in courts and legislatures. The United Stated Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has defined sexual harassment as:
“Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when submission to or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.”

This definition also includes the following assumptions:

  • The harasser may be a man or woman, and the victim need not be of the opposite sex.
  • The perpetrator may be a direct supervisor, other manager, co-worker or even a non-employee such as a client.
  • It is not necessary for the victim to have been fired or suffer economic injury for the behavior to be considered sexual harassment.
  • The conduct must have been “unwelcome” by the victim.

Unwelcome Comments and Behavior:

The key word in defining sexual harassment is “unwelcome” – unwelcome conduct or comments. For example, two individuals “flirting” are not engaged in sexual harassment, because neither views the attention as unwanted. In a sexual harassment situation, there is a perpetrator and a victim who is uncomfortable with the comments or behavior.

Sexual harassment takes various forms:

  • Physical: such as unwanted touching, impeding or blocking movements
  • Verbal: including jokes, comments, innuendos, derision, name-calling and malicious rumors
  • Non-verbal: such as letters, looks, graffiti and such behavior as displaying pornography in the work area.

Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment:

sexHarras1Harassment may involve a “quid pro quo,” or, more generally, it may be considered behavior that creates a hostile environment in the workplace.

In quid pro quo cases, the victim suffers from employment decisions resulting from rejection of prohibited behavior. The threat of economic loss is sufficient to meet this definition. A pattern of such behavior need not be proven; a single incident is sufficient.

An individual who is not being harassed may nonetheless be considered a quid pro quo third-party victim. That occurs when the employee suffers economically or loses other potential benefits to another employee who gained advantage by submitting to the harassment.

Hostile Work Environment Created by Sexual Harassment:

In the case of sexual harassment that creates a hostile environment, the unwelcome behavior unreasonably interferes with the victim’s ability to perform his or her job, creating an intimidating or offensive work environment. It is not necessary to demonstrate economic damage, such as the loss of a promotion. Not only managers or employees, but also customers, can create such a hostile work environment.

A hostile work environment may involve continual requests for sexual favors, use of vulgar language, questions of a sexual nature, language and conduct that demeans or degrades, explicit and/or offensive photos or graphic material that is displayed.

If you believe that you have been the victim of workplace sexual harassment you should contact Ralph A. Ferro Jr. immediately (201) 446-5904. Mr. Ferro’s experience and knowledge can help you receive the compensation you deserve. He is an aggressive litigator known for his preparation, attention to detail and zealous client advocacy.

If you have any questions on New Jersey sexual harassment laws, or would like to schedule an appointment for a free consultation, call: Attorney Ralph A. Ferro, Jr. at: (201) 446-5904.

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