Unfortunately, sexual harassment is still prevalent in the workplace. Harassment in the workplace leads to an uncomfortable and often hostile work environment. Everyone has the right to work in a place where they feel safe. That is why it is important for employers to create policies that discourage any type of harassment or discrimination.
In February, the NJ Supreme Court made a ruling that makes it more difficult for people filing sexual harassment lawsuits to hold their employers’ liable for a supervisor’s behavior. Since 1993, an employer was considered vicariously liable for sexual harassment committed by a supervisor. Now New Jersey has adopted the policy instated by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1998 — an employer can avoid being vicariously liable if they can show that they attempted to prevent or correct any sexual harassment and if the plaintiff failed to take advantage of the help offered.
This ruling should encourage employees who feel they are being harassed to take the appropriate measures to report and stop the harassment. Some argue that this just makes it easier for supervisors to create a hostile work environment.
Ultimately, this new policy makes the legal process fairer to both employers and employees. It encourages both sides to be proactive about preventing harassment in the work place. For employers, it is essential that they have anti-harassment policies in place and take the proper steps when harassment is reported so that they can show that they were not at fault.
Sexual harassment is a serious offense. Employers need to have the proper rules and procedures to ensure that their employees are protected.
If you feel that you are the victim of sexual harassment in New Jersey, the experienced employment law attorneys at Aiello, Harris, Marth, Tunnero & Schiffman are prepared to help you. Call us today at (908) 561-5577 or contact us online to learn more about your rights.