How do I proceed after my employer covered up sexual harassment and is now penalizing me for reporting it?

I was sexually harassed at work. It was reported to the Director. She chose not to take action until I was forced to take a day off so I would not have to work with my harasser as my immediate supervisor. Now 2 months later it was addressed and within 3 days I was put out on administrative leave but the Director refuses to say why. I don’t know what to do.

Asked on September 27, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You should speak with an employment attorney. Companies may not conduct or condone (by their staff) either sexual harassment or sexual discrimination. This means, among other things, that if an employee or manager is sexually  harassing, a company has to take it seriously, conduct a proper investigation, take action if wrongoing is discovered, etc. Furthermore, the law specifically prohibits companies from retaliating against an employee for reporting a suspected or alleged incidenct of sexual harassment. Therefore, if the company took action against you and not against your harasser, there may be a legal claim you can assert. That's why it would be worthwhile for you to speak with an employment attorney, who can evaluate your claim and advise you as to your options. Good luck.


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