Questions And Answers On Sexual Harassment

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Question 1 The New Jersey laws governing the area of sexual discrimination are broad. Discrimination under the New Jersey statutes prohibits any intentional discrimination that may demonstrate differential treatment or statements and also include any conduct that reflects discriminatory animus or bias. Conduct that may qualify includes any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual relations, or verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. In the instant case there are a number of situations that would likely qualify under the New Jersey statutes as being discriminatory in nature and, thereby, expose the company to legal liability. Considering the events in historical order, the first such incident would be the frequent pranks that were being played on Ms. Pollard. The pranks in and of themselves do not appear to have any overt sexual connotation to them but the fact that Ms. Pollard was the only female on the premises serves to create a presumption that they were being directed toward her as a female. This presumption would be strengthened if it can be demonstrated that she was the only one upon whom pranks were being played. The next incident that poses a problem for the company is the delivery driver places Ms. Pollard over his knee and spanking her. Again, such act may not be overtly sexual in nature but the fact that Ms. Pollard is female creates a strong presumption that it was indeed intended to be. Add in the fact that the supervisor on the job not only did
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