The U.S. Supreme Court in a recent split decision in the matter of Vance v. Ball State University authored by Justice Alito, confirmed that in a discrimination case, the company/employer can be held liable if the claimant demonstrates the following: “The employer was negligent in failing to prevent harassment from taking place. Evidence that an employer did not monitor the workplace, failed to respond to complaints, or effectively discouraged complaints from being filed would be relevant.”
The foregoing was written in the context that the harassing party was not a supervisor, but rather just a co-employee. The case also offered the definition of a supervisor as one who “directs” the day-to-day activities of the one claiming to be harassed.
This Supreme Court case was brought under Title 7, the federal statute that in many ways is mirrored by the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination.