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Is Your Sexual Harassment Policy Worth The Paper It Is Printed On?

In a post-Harvey Weinstein world, in a time when #MeToo has significantly affected the national discourse and new harassment allegations are leveled against powerful individuals on a near-daily basis, it is more crucial than ever for companies to adopt and maintain compliant anti-(sexual) harassment policies. However, it is not enough to simply have a harassment-free policy on the books or digitally. The policy must be promulgated and implemented effectively. Otherwise, the company risks being found liable for its employees’ inappropriate conduct.

Statute of Limitations for Hostile Work Environment Claim Began to Run When Employee Left Workplace.

The plaintiff left the workplace due to alleged sexual and disability harassment on January 11, 2002, and never returned, claiming that ongoing, unremedied harassment made it impossible for him to return to work. His paid leave expired on July 19, 2002, and his employment was terminated the same day. On March 25, 2004, the plaintiff filed a claim alleging hostile work environment and other violations under the Law Against Discrimination (LAD). The plaintiff claimed the two-year statute of limitations for the hostile work environment claim began to run on the date of his termination.

Court Finds Persistent Dating Attempts Not Equivalent to Sexual Harassment.

Despite the spate of recent pro-employee hostile work environment cases, the Supreme Court issued an antidote in Godfrey, holding that the plaintiffs, two female seminary students, were not subject to a hostile environment when a 60-year old seminary resident pursued them in quest of a date, where his behavior involved no sexual language, touching, or inappropriate comments or suggestions.
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