An employee of one New Jersey township is suing her employer for sexual harassment and racial slurs she says she endured from both her supervisors and co-workers. The woman, who is black, has worked for the township in their park system for approximately four years.
According to the lawsuit, the sexual harassment consisted of several derogatory remarks as well as inappropriate groping by a female co-worker. The racial discrimination included instances of racial remarks made to the victim. She also says that on one occasion she found a noose hanging in the area in which she worked as well as in the vehicle she drove while on the job.
When she filed a complaint about the racial and sexual harassment, the personnel director for Hamilton Township did not take any action to resolve the situation, according the lawsuit she filed. The director told the plaintiff in the case that he could not control what his employees do or say in the workplace because they did not seem to feel that they would be reprimanded for their actions. The woman's attorney said in statements to the press that this is the worst case of workplace harassment and discrimination he has seen in over 15 years of practicing law.
The victim in the case has been on disability leave since filing an official complaint with the township. The years of abuse have had a severe effect on the woman's psychological well-being. Punishment for the inappropriate actions was allegedly not commonplace or severe.
The racial discrimination and sexual harassment are alleged to be a normal occurrence at all levels of the township's offices, according to the lawsuit filed by the victim. The plaintiff's attorney feels that his client's allegations are justified, and that the behavior of the township's employees was both wrong and illegal.
Source: Nj.com, "Hamilton worker sues township, alleging sexual harassment and rampant racial slurs," Lisa Coryell, 21 May 2011