Sexual harassment in the workplace remains a significant societal problem in the 21st century despite decades of progress and strengthened worker protections. For anyone who has been the subject of illegal sexual harassment, there are a myriad of questions and fears about taking legal action. A common question is whether witnesses are necessary in proving a sexual harassment claim. Although you do not need witnesses to prove your claim, there are things to keep in mind when an employee has been the subject of sexual harassment at work.
Workplace Protections from Sexual Harassment
Federal and State laws protect employees from illegal sexual harassment. No worker should undergo the emotionally devastating experience of being sexually harassed while simply doing their job. Yet, as we have seen with the increase of high-profile sexual discrimination and harassment claims, there is still a long way to go to prevent it from happening.
Sexual harassment is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination. Employees should be aware that sexual harassment can consist of a variety of actions that are all prohibited. It can consist of unwanted sexual advances, demands for sexual favors, as well as other actions that impact an employee’s work or create a hostile or intimidating work environment. The victim does not have to be of the opposite sex, but the conduct must be unwelcome.
Filing a claim for sexual harassment involves several steps. The employee should first report the conduct through the standard process in their place of employment. This alone can be an intimidating step, but it is critical to show that the employee reported the offensive behavior. Employees who are subjected to harassment should also carefully document and note the conduct, including times, dates, locations, the impact on one’s job duties, as well as any witnesses. Witnesses to the conduct, while not required, can be a part of a sexual harassment case and may bolster the victim’s report. Both victims and witnesses can be reluctant to report sexual harassment due to a fear of employment reprisals. Both victims and witnesses are also entitled to legal protection from unlawful retaliation.
Those who have been sexually harassed at work deserve justice and should not go through this psychologically draining process alone. A skilled South Jersey employment lawyer who understands your needs and works closely with you to explain the process is a key tool in fighting for your rights.
South Jersey Employment Lawyers at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC Are on Your Side
If you were the victim of sexual harassment at work, call the experienced South Jersey employment lawyers at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC. To set up a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 856-235-7075. Located in Mount Laurel and Atlantic City, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Cherry Hill, Burlington County, and Camden County.