Enduring sexual harassment at work is traumatic. Victims may feel intimidated, confused, and reluctant to seek help. But with the guidance of Morelli Law Firm’s sexual harassment lawyers, you can feel confident that all liable parties will be held responsible for your mistreatment.
Our sexual harassment attorneys in Paterson are here to defend your rights and represent your case. Whether you were abused by a coworker, client, supervisor, clergy member, or any other person, we will make sure you receive fair compensation for your injuries.
Defining Sexual Harassment
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines sexual harassment as:
- Unwelcome sexual advances
- Requests for sexual favors
- Verbal offensive remarks
- Unwarranted exposing of oneself in a sexual nature
Although federal law does not prohibit teasing or inappropriate comments, harassment is illegal when a person consistently creates an offensive or hostile work environment. Sexual harassment can also occur when an employer fires or retaliates against an employee due to sexual harassment claims.
What to Do if You Experience Sexual Harassment at Work
If you experience harassment in the workplace, you may not know what legal options to seek. However, taking the proper steps can protect you from aggressors and ensure a fair recovery for your claim.
Document All Instances of Harassment
Sexual harassment includes a variety of behaviors. To help prove your claim, document all instances in which you feel threatened or uncomfortable. Keep detailed records of every account and make sure to include items like:
- The person’s full name
- The exact date, location, and time of the incident
- Material proof (such as a text message or email)
- Contact information for anyone who witnessed the harassment
Consult a Paterson Sexual Harassment Lawyer
Before you report the harassment at work or file a lawsuit against the party, speak with a qualified sexual harassment lawyer. Our sexual harassment lawyers in Paterson can provide sound legal advice and guide you through the litigation process if you decide to pursue your case.
Report the Harassment to the Appropriate Department
Make sure you follow the policy as outlined by your company. You must report the incident to the right person and follow proper company protocols. Incorrectly filing a report can create problems for your claim.
Reporting a harassment claim at work can be complex, but our workplace lawyers help you navigate the process.
File a Complaint With the EEOC
If your employer does not act against your aggressor, then you and your harassment attorney will file a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
According to the New Jersey State Department of Law & Public Safety, you have 180 days from the date of the offense to file a claim. Filing a complaint with the EEOC can protect you against employer or co-worker retaliation and help you receive a fair settlement for your mistreatment.
Paterson Sexual Harassment Lawyer Near Me 877-751-9800
Types of Sexual Harassment Claims
Unfortunately, not all employees are aware of the different types of sexual harassment that occur in the workplace. Therefore, it’s essential to be mindful of the various forms of harassment and take action when you feel uncomfortable.
Quid Pro Quo
Quid pro quo harassment occurs when an employee must submit to unwelcome sexual advances in order to receive job benefits. The perpetrator must be a person who holds power over the victim, such as a manager or direct supervisor. Examples of quid pro quo harassment include:
- Requesting sexual favors in exchange for hiring
- Promising a raise for sexual favors
- Threatening to terminate or demote a person if the sexual favors stop
Hostile Work Environment
If another employee, client, or third-party vendor makes you uncomfortable, intimated, or interferes with your job performance, the perpetrator may be liable for creating a hostile work environment.
Examples of sexual harassment that creates a hostile work environment include:
- Making vulgar jokes, gestures, or remarks
- Sharing sexually-charged materials
- Making suggestive comments about the employee’s body, clothes, or appearance
- Repeatedly asking the employee on dates
- Making unwanted sexual advances
How Sexual Harassment Lawyers Help You Win Your Case
Proving a sexual harassment case can be an uphill climb. Victims often need overwhelming evidence and eyewitnesses to prove the claim. But at Morelli Law Firm, our sexual harassment attorneys in Paterson defend your rights. We help you pursue your aggressors and stand up to employer retaliation.
When you partner with our legal experts, we will:
- Assess your case to determine if the other party violated a law
- Develop a strategy for reporting harassment to the appropriate department
- Guide you on steps to take to protect yourself after the report
- Investigate your case to uncover evidence of harassment
- Communicate with all relevant parties on your behalf
- Negotiate a settlement with the guilty party or employer
In addition, we are fully prepared to file a lawsuit with the appropriate Passaic County court. We will protect your rights throughout every step of the process and demand justice for your employer’s mistreatment.
Damages You Can Sue for in a Sexual Harassment Claim
When pursuing a sexual harassment case, you may receive compensatory or punitive damages. Our sexual harassment attorneys will seek compensation for:
- Back pay: If a sexual harassment victim was denied career advancements, our lawyers seek back pay as compensation. Back pay includes bonuses, commissions, tips, benefits, stock options, pension plans, and vacation days.
- Emotional distress: Our lawyers make sure victims receive compensation for any pain and suffering the assaults caused. This can include PTSD, depression, anxiety, insomnia, mental anguish, and strained relationships with family and friends.
- Reinstatement: If a sexual harassment victim lost their job due to unlawful behaviors, we help them get reinstated into their original position.
- Front pay: If reinstatement into your original position is not possible, our lawyers help victims secure front pay to compensate for future wage loss.
If a sexual harasser acted with malice or reckless indifference to your rights, we may also pursue punitive damages in a sexual harassment claim. To prove these types of damages, our harassment lawyers show evidence that your employer either was the perpetrator or was aware of the misconduct and did nothing to stop it.
We Hold Paterson Employers Responsible for Third-Party Harassment
If you report unlawful behavior to your human resources department or employer, the company is responsible for taking action. All Paterson employers have a duty to maintain a safe workplace where employees feel comfortable.
Corrective action from employers can include:
- Performing a formal investigation
- Speaking with the perpetrator and demanding them to stop
- Eliminating contact between the perpetrator and victim
- Terminating or cutting ties with the perpetrator
Regardless if the harassment was carried out by another employee, customer, contractor, or vendor, the employer must take appropriate action to correct the issue.
Demand Justice for Employer Retaliation
When you report harassment in the workplace, you should not suffer consequences. But, unfortunately, some companies retaliate against employees who report abuse. An employer may:
- Fire the victim: Even if your employer disagrees with your assessment, employees should never lose their jobs for reporting workplace misconduct.
- Demote or reassign the victim: Employers may retaliate against victims by pulling them from their current position and reassigning them to a lower one.
- Bribe or coerce the victim: To keep sexual harassment claims quiet, employers may attempt to bribe or coerce victims who come forward.
If your company does not take action to stop workplace harassment or you endure retaliation as a result of your complaint, contact a Paterson sexual harassment attorney. We will investigate the claim and ensure the sexual harasser and negligent employer are held accountable for your mistreatment.
Let Our Paterson Sexual Harassment Lawyers Handle Your Claim
The sexual harassment attorneys at Morelli Law Firm are prepared to investigate your sexual harassment claim and seek justice for your damages. We are not afraid to stand up to unlawful businesses, and we have helped our clients obtain millions in legal settlements.
To learn more about our legal strategy, contact our Paterson office now. Our workplace attorneys will perform a free case review to determine the best course of action to take next.