Understanding the statute of limitations for raising a sexual harassment claim
Sexual harassment is a serious offense that can cause untold misery to a victim. Luckily, the law provides relief for victims by allowing them to file claims for compensation for sexual harassment. Typically, sexual harassment takes place in the context of work but can happen anywhere and anybody can be a victim. Here are some basic facts about sexual harassment and particularly the statute of limitations for filing a case.
What is Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment occurs when one person experiences unwanted sexual advances or any form of sexual messaging. Sexual harassment can be physical (such as unwanted touching), it can be verbal and it can also be in the form of an electronic message, which includes sending unwanted and inappropriate photos to a victim.
New Jersey Law recognizes that sexual harassment may occur in the context of discrimination on the basis of gender or it may occur as leverage for promotions and other forms of career advancement. A hostile and abusive work environment might also be considered sexual harassment under certain conditions.
New Jersey’s Statute of Limitations
In the state of New Jersey, the statute of limitations for bringing up such a case is two years after the said action takes place. This is, however, not as straightforward as it sounds. The law also recognizes that sexual harassment is rarely a one-off occurrence but often tends to be a series of incidences that stretch over a long period of time. For that reason, the law gives a provision to extend the statute of limitation beyond the two years under what is known as the Continuing Violations theory.
An example of where this might apply: if the court is convinced that there has been a pattern of sexual violations over a period of time, it will use the last day that sexual harassment occurred to mark the beginning of the statute of limitation. This means the victim has two years from that date to file a claim for compensation.
Preparing for a Sexual Harassment Case
One of the first steps of preparing to establish a sexual harassment case is to identify a good lawyer with experience in the area. Look at the lawyer’s track record, as well as general interest in the case. A good lawyer will be able to advise you if you are within the stipulated timelines and how to proceed. Be careful to preserve as much evidence as possible. If you had messages sent to you on the phone, preserve them carefully. Keep a note of when each incident happened and if there were any witnesses. This pieces of evidence will be critical in the later stages when you have to prove to the court that these incidents happened.
If you are looking for an experienced legal firm in the state of New Jersey to help you with your sexual harassment case, look no further than Team Law. We are a highly professional law firm with years of legal experience under our belt. Talk to us today.