Understanding Your Rights Under the New Jersey Sexual Harassment Law

Following our recent blog on recognizing sexual harassment in the workplace, it is also essential to understand your rights if you are a victim of harassment. New Jersey has one of the most comprehensive anti-discrimination laws in the United States, offering valuable protections against workplace harassment. By learning more about the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, you can empower yourself to take action and seek justice.

Your Rights Under New Jersey Law

Under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, you have the fundamental right to be free from sexual harassment in your workplace, regardless of your gender or sexual orientation. This means that you have the right to:

  • Be free from unwelcome sexual advances
  • Be free from sexually suggestive comments or jokes
  • Be free from offensive sexual materials
  • Be free from unwanted touching or physical contact
  • Be free from retaliation if you report sexual harassment

Reporting Sexual Harassment

If you have been sexually harassed, The first step should be to report the harassment to your employer. If you have concerns about doing so, we recommend you speak with one of the attorneys here at Schall & Barasch for counseling on how to report the harassment. Under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, while your employer is legally obligated to stop sexual harassment and take steps to prevent it, we have unfortunately found that many employers fail to comply with the law and will try to protect the harasser rather than protect the employee making the complaint.

Employers Often Don’t Comply With Their Obligations Under The Law

Employers are legally responsible for ensuring a safe and respectful work environment for employees, including preventing and addressing sexual harassment. Below are some of the obligations the law imposes on employers:

  • Clear Policies: Establishing and consistently enforcing policies explicitly prohibiting sexual harassment is crucial. These policies should define what constitutes harassment and outline victim-reporting procedures.
  • Training and Awareness: Equipping employees with knowledge and awareness through comprehensive training programs is vital. This training should educate employees on recognizing and preventing sexual harassment and their rights and responsibilities.
  • Prompt Response: When sexual harassment complaints arise, employers must take swift action to investigate the situation thoroughly and impartially. This includes gathering evidence, interviewing parties involved, and reaching a timely conclusion.
  • Disciplinary Action: Employers must take disciplinary action against harassment and retaliation, ranging from verbal warnings to termination, depending on the situation.

We have often found that employers fail to meet some or all of the above obligations: failing to make clear to their supervisors and employees that sexual harassment simply will not be tolerated, and that employees who engage in sexual harassment will face serious consequences.  

Filing a Lawsuit

If you have been sexually harassed or retaliated against for reporting sexual harassment, you may need to file a lawsuit against your employer. Don’t wait to take action, as there are time limits for filing suit. Contact the New Jersey employment lawyers at Schall & Barasch, LLC.: Experienced, Knowledgeable, and Dedicated to the Fight for Justice.   


Additional Resources

For more information on sexual harassment in New Jersey, please visit the following resources:

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