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