New Jersey Sexual Harassment laws & HR compliance analysis

New Jersey Sexual Harassment: What you need to know

The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) prohibits all employers, regardless of size, from discriminating in employment based on sex, marital status, domestic partnership or civil union status, affectional or sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression (NJ Rev. Stat. Sec. 10:5-12). Sexual harassment is considered to be a form of unlawful discrimination. It is also a violation of the law to retaliate against any person exercising his or her rights under the law, or against any person aiding in the exercise of rights under the LAD (NJ Rev. Stat. Sec. 10:5-12(d)).
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Note: In order to be protected by the LAD, domestic partners must register their partnership at any municipal office in the state.
According to the New Jersey Division of Civil Rights, the LAD prohibits harassment based on protected characteristics, including sex and gender identity.
Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual relations, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.
Quid pro quo harassment. This type of sexual harassment occurs when an employer attempts to make submission to sexual demands a condition of employment. An employee may perceive that he or she must tolerate sexual advances or engage in a sexual relationship in order to avoid adverse employment decisions or to obtain favorable employment decisions such as promotions, salary increases, or preferred assignments.
Hostile work environment. This type of sexual harassment occurs when an employee is subjected to sexual, abusive, or offensive conduct because of his or her gender. When this conduct is severe or pervasive, discrimination in the form of a hostile work environment can occur.
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