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NJ State Trooper Alleges Sexual Assault & Harassment

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By Minara El-Rahman on December 04, 2009 8:50 AM

An NJ state trooper has filed lawsuit for harassment this past Tuesday. According to Philly.com, Trooper Alexis Hayes claims that a total of six troopers are guilty of either harassing her, or enabling her tormentors to harass her. She also claims that the NJ state police administration conducted an internal investigation which served to only humiliate her and worsen the harassment.

Her lawsuit claims that she was not only abused verbally through the state trooper hazing process, but she was also sexually assaulted by a superior officer in her unit. As a result of the assault, Ms. Hayes claims she became pregnant and was forced to terminate the pregnancy.

Unfortunately, we have written about sexual assault and sexual harassment at work before. But this brings up the common question:

What Do You Do If You Think You Are Being Sexually Harassed at Work?

  • Say Something: Sometimes responsible parties (like your employer), may not be aware that there is a hostile work environment. Just letting them know puts them on notice so that they can take appropriate steps to mitigate the situation.
  • Follow Your Employer's Handbook: If your employer has guidelines on how to deal with sexual harassment, follow them. It will help your case out if you have documented evidence that you reached out for help from your employer.
  • Contact A Government Agency: If you followed the outlined steps above and it still has not alleviated your situation, reaching out to a government agency that is designated to help you often works to resolve the situation. This is typically the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission).
  • File A Lawsuit: Sometimes you have no choice but to file a lawsuit. Some of the remedies that you can request are: reinstatement (if you were fired), back pay (if you lost money or were passed for a raise), fringe benefits lost, damages for emotional distress, sexual harassment guidelines to be set in place for your employer, and litigation fees and costs

If you have any other questions about sexual harassment at work, please feel free to visit our Related Resources section.

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