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Holding Your Employer Accountable for Discrimination by Co-workers

Employers are clearly liable for instances of employment discrimination and harassment they themselves perpetrate. Likewise, they are usually liable for instances of discrimination and harassment by managers and supervisors they employ.

What you may not realize, however, is that under some circumstances your employer can be liable for harassment perpetrated upon you by your co-workers. For this reason, it is important to inform your employer promptly if you have been a victim of discrimination by your co-workers or anyone else in the course of your employment.

  • Under the federal laws administered by the EEOC, an employer may be held liable for the discriminatory or harassing conduct of employees against other employees only if the employer knew or should have known that the conduct was taking place and failed to take reasonable ameliorative action.
  • This also extends to conduct by independent contractors over which the employer exercises direct control.

That’s why it’s important for you, as a victim of discrimination, to promptly report any acts of harassment or the existence of a hostile work environment to your employer. If your employer has a grievance procedure in place for such matters, use it as soon as you can. If not, inform your employer through any other reasonable means.

Most employers take swift action once they learn of the conduct, so it is important to cooperate with any reasonable investigation or corrective measures they take. If, however, your employer does not adequately respond to your complaints or if the solution offered seems unfair or inadequate, it may be time to contact a New Jersey hostile work environment lawyer.

 

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Neil  H.  Deutsch Attorney Photo
Neil H. Deutsch
Senior Partner

About Neil H. Deutsch has been practicing law for over 35 years and is known as a skilled negotiator in employment and discrimination law. He believes in a bottom-line approach of risk analysis and cost effectiveness for his clients. "Case evaluation is something we take seriously," says Mr. Deutsch who seeks top net dollar for…

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Bruce L. Atkins
Senior Partner

About Bruce L. Atkins is regarded as one of New Jersey's premiere practitioners of employment and civil litigation. Mr. Atkins has also been included in the Thomson Reuters list of New Jersey Super Lawyers* in Employment Litigation since 2005. Mr. Atkins believes employees have rights that should be aggressively pursued when an employer has wrongfully dealt…

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Adam J. Kleinfeldt
Partner

About Adam J. Kleinfeldt joined Deutsch Atkins, P.C. in March of 2015.  He primarily represents individuals in employment litigations such as discrimination, retaliation, and whistle blowing matters.  He has extensive experience in all phases of the litigation process. Adam has obtained significant results for some of his clients, including a $525,000 jury verdict in a…

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Robert J. Pantina
Attorney

About Robert J. Pantina joined the firm in 2018. Mr. Pantina received his B.A. from Rider University in 2008. He received his J.D. from the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University in 2017. While in law school, Mr. Pantina interned for the Hon. Bonnie J. Mizdol, Assignment Judge of the Superior Court of…

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Diane Englander Peyser
Attorney

About Diane Englander Peyser joined Deutsch Atkins, PC in September 2018 where she represents employees in wrongful termination, retaliation, harassment, and discrimination matters. Prior to joining Deutsch Atkins, PC, Diane represented clients in all aspects of employment law on behalf of employees involving unemployment appeals, claims of sexual harassment, LGBT discrimination, disability discrimination, FMLA, New…

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