If you feel you are going through a hostile work environment in New Jersey, it is important to handle the situation appropriately. Filing a complaint will help, but you still need to find a way of dealing with your day to day work activities. This text provides practical answers to frequently asked questions regarding sexual harassment.

Will I be punished for filing a sexual harassment claim?

No, you will not be punished. The law stops an employer from retaliating against an employee who speaks out against a sexual harassment act. It also protects those who participate in an investigation, proceeding or hearing on behalf of a co-worker whose rights have been violated. Do not shy off from taking action if you or another person you know is suffering from sexual harassment in the workplace.

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If I am harassed at my workplace, what should I do?

When it comes to sexual harassment, there is no ideal thing to do because all situations are unique. However, there are two important things you should do- detest bullying and report the incident.

Say no

One of the legal requirements of sexual harassment is that the conduct should be unwelcome. Make it known to the harasser that you do not appreciate the behavior. Tell the offender that his or her behavior offends you. If the person invites you to dinner or any other event, do not go. Do not respond to flatters as this may send mixed signals. It is essential to communicate your discontent, whether in writing or verbally.

Report the harassment incidence

Reporting the incidence is important because your employer should be aware of what is going on. If the harasser is in a senior position or is the employer, report the case to the authorities. When filing a report to the employer or supervisor, do so in writing so that there is tangible evidence of the claim.

In some organizations, there is a procedure that employees should follow when filing the claim. If this is the case, make sure you follow the policy. While it might seem like filing a complaint with the company will not yield any results, failing to report the harassment will give your organization the leeway of claiming that they were not aware.

What should I do if I feel I am not ready to file an EEOC claim but would want to do so in future?

  • Record the discriminatory practices that have been taking place
  • Go through your company’s employee handbook to see if the firm has a policy that offers alternative dispute resolution tools such as mediation
  • Continue performing well at the workplace and maintain a record of your awards, job evaluation, memos or any other documents that prove your good work record
  • Take note of the timing. In most cases, you have up to 180 days after the harassment incident to file a discrimination claim with the EEOC.
  • Create a support system. Talk to somebody you trust such as family and friends. Harassment at the work place is hard to deal with alone.