Q: Can a NJ
Employer Limit its Exposure to Sexual Harassment Claims Even When A Male
Employee Makes Repeated Crude Comments About a Female Employee’s Body and
Sexual Practices and Tries to Grope and Kiss Her?
A: Yes! In Mann v. Staples, the NJ Appellate Division agreed with the lower Court’s dismissal of a female employee’s sexual harassment and hostile work environmental claims because the employer had in place “a specific policy prohibiting sexual harassment; trained its management personnel on these policies; made available a defined and publicized procedure for a victim to present harassment complaints; completed a detailed process to investigate those complaints; and followed through with identifiable remedial and corrective action.” The Court explained “a company that develops policies reflecting a lack of tolerance for harassment will have less concern about hostile work environment or punitive damages claims if its good-faith attempts include periodic publication to workers of the employer's anti-harassment policy; an effective and practical grievance process; and training sessions for workers, supervisors, and managers about how to recognize and eradicate unlawful harassment.”
If you have questions about whether Anti-Harassment/Retaliation Policies in your Employee Handbook are up to date, you fear you are not implementing them properly or, worse, if you don’t have such policies, we can schedule a quick call to review your concerns.
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