Defining the Contours of Individual Liability Under the NJLAD for Aiding and Abetting Sexual Harassment

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Under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination an employee’s supervisor may not be held individually liable for sexual harassment of an employee, even if the supervisor is aware of the harassment, unless the supervisor has "aided and abetted" the sexual harassment. A recent New Jersey Federal Court decision provides important guidance regarding the conduct which renders a supervisor individually liable for aiding and abetting sexual harassment in the workplace. In certain circumstances, supervisors will be found individually liable for aiding and abetting the sexual harassment even where they have no direct supervision of the alleged victim of the sexual harassment and are not directly involved in the employer’s decision on how to address it. A Court may also find supervisors personally liable if it views their conduct as aiding and abetting their own alleged sexual harassment of the employee. On the other hand, under certain circumstances, supervisors may not be held personally liable even where sexual harassment is rampant within their department, where there is a proliferation of pornographic material in the workplace or where the supervisor was aware of the sexual harassment and failed to take effective action to stop it. For a full analysis of this recent case, click here.

As the law continues to evolve on these matters, please note that this article is current as of date and time of publication and may not reflect subsequent developments. The content and interpretation of the issues addressed herein is subject to change. Cole Schotz P.C. disclaims any and all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this publication to the fullest extent permitted by law. This is for general informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. Do not act or refrain from acting upon the information contained in this publication without obtaining legal, financial and tax advice. For further information, please do not hesitate to reach out to your firm contact or to any of the attorneys listed in this publication.

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