Employer retaliation results in compensation for teenage employee

Posted in Sexual Harassment on July 10, 2013

The same employment laws that protect adult employees in the workforce also apply to teenage workers and student workers. When teenagers take jobs to supplement the family income or save for school, they have the same employee rights as their adult coworkers, and their parents have the right to expect that they will be treated fairly and respectfully.

One of the most important employment protections for workers in today’s workplace is the prohibition on workplace sexual harassment. Sexual harassment laws serve two major functions. First, they prohibit inappropriate workplace behavior. In addition, they make it illegal for employers to punish workers who report or complain about sexual harassment. When employers punish workers who report sexual harassment, the law considers such actions to be unlawful retaliation.

A recent story from the East Coast demonstrates these principles at work. A teenage girl took a job at a party hosting company that hosted children’s parties and provided playground equipment such as inflatable slides and bouncy castles for kids to play in.

A few months after she was hired, she began to receive inappropriate text messages of a sexual nature from her supervisor. She also experienced harassment from male coworkers as well.

When she complained about the sexual harassment, she was terminated shortly thereafter for having her cellphone in a play area, a rule violation that had resulted in only verbal warnings for other employees.

After the government became involved in this case, the girl’s former employer recently settled the sexual harassment and retaliation claim for $15,000 and agreed to have its employees attend an anti-discrimination training course. 


NJ.com, “Paramus party company to pay $15,000 to resolve teen girl’s sexual harassment suit,” Dan Ivers, July 2, 2013