A New Jersey employee believes she is being sexually harassed by a co-worker. When the harassing conduct is reported, a New Jersey employer now seeks to meet its legal obligation (and the mandate of its own internal policies) to investigate and, if necessary, discipline any wrongdoers, create a workplace milieu that is harassment-free, and ensure that no unlawful retaliation ensues.

An attorney counseling either the employee or employer described above will know to gather facts from the client to address the core, long-standing elements of a hostile work environment claim: (1) would the harassing conduct not have occurred but for the employee’s gender, and (2) was it severe or pervasive enough to make a (3) reasonable woman believe that (4) the conditions of employment are altered and the working environment is hostile or abusive. Lehmann v. Toys ‘R’ Us,132 N.J. 587, 603-04 (1993). The facts needed to counsel your client will not differ whether this prospective plaintiff’s claims are brought under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD), N.J.S.A. §10:5-1 et seq., or Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C.S. §§2000e to 2000e-17.

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