Harassment under the NJLAD, or hostile work environment, occurs when an employee is subjected to sexual, abusive, or offensive conduct because of his or her protected characteristic. Such conduct creates an unlawful work environment when it is severe or pervasive enough to make a reasonable person believe that the conditions of employment have been altered and the working environment has become hostile or abusive. This analytical framework may be applied to hostile work environments created because of an employee’s race, nationality, creed, disability, gender, or other characteristics enumerated by the NJLAD. For example, racial slurs or offensive comments or jokes about a person’s gender, sexual orientation, dress, culture, accent, race or ethnic background may be severe or pervasive enough to create a hostile or abusive environment that violates the NJLAD.
Harassment of an employee on the basis of a characteristic protected by the NJLAD is prohibited. All employees have the right to a workplace environment that is free of discriminatory intimidation, harassment, and hostility, such as sexual harassment, gender-based harassment, and racial name-calling. If you feel that you are being subjected to harassment or a hostile work environment, contact an experienced attorney at Kurkowski Law today for a free consultation to see if you case qualified for the protections of the NJLAD.