Certain types of discrimination in the workplace have long been taboo, giving rise to legal claims for injury, including lost wages, as well as constructive discharge. Sexual harassment is considered a form of discrimination and typically takes one of two forms in the workplace: quid pro quo sexual harassment and the creation of a hostile work environment based on sex.
Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment
Quid pro quo (Latin for “this for that”) sexual harassment is characterized by:
- Actual workplace benefits (or promises of said benefits) in exchange for sexual favors, or
- Workplace punishments (or threats of the same) for refusal to submit to demands or requests for sexual favors
The workplace benefits can take a variety of forms, from promotions, raises and other forms of advancement to select assignments, special benefits or working conditions, the opportunity to travel for work, training opportunities or additional benefits. The penalties or sanctions may involve demotions or denied promotions, pay stagnation, undesirable assignments or disqualification for benefits or other perks.
The Creation of a Hostile Environment Based on Sex
With this type of sexual harassment, an employer either condones or encourages behavior by other employees that creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment. The employer may allow employees to post pictures, send e-mails or tell jokes of a sexual nature, or may condone suggestive behavior by employees toward other employees.
When you have a potential claim based on a hostile environment, you typically need to show that the conduct was more than an isolated incident, that you notified your employer or supervisor, and that your concerns were either ignored or disregarded.
Contact the Law Offices of Mallon & Tranger
To learn how we can help you if you have been the victim of sexual harassment, contact us online or call us at 732-410-6094 (toll free at 877-320-0692). There is no charge for your first meeting. We have offices in Freehold, Toms River and Point Pleasant.