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Sacco faces opposition from woman who claimed sexual harassment

According to the Jersey Journal, North Bergen Mayor Nicholas Sacco recently filed 36 boxes of nominating petitions for the upcoming mayoral election in May. Only 300 petitions per candidate are required, but Sacco said he hoped to break a record as well as weigh support for the election.

Among Sacco's opposition is a former female employee who sued North Bergen township in June of 2008 accusing Sacco of sexual harassment.

According to her complaint, the former employee was working as a clerk/typist when Sacco made a crude comment about "big boobs" in her presence. She also claimed that later on, after she had been promoted as a secretary for the police chief, a female commissioner scolded her for dressing provocatively, commenting on her breasts. Her suit also alleged that she was forced to work in a hostile work environment and that she was demoted in retaliation for filing a harassment complaint.

The former employee, who had worked with the municipality since 1999, eventually received a settlement for $90,000 to compensate for emotional distress and attorneys fees. The money was paid through the Municipal Excess Liability Fund, an insurer of North Bergen Township.

Part of the settlement deal was that the former employee's position would be dissolved for reasons of "economy and efficiency" and that she was not to challenge the elimination of her position or to seek reemployment with the township.

Sexual harassment is not always open and obvious. It can often consist of a series of subtle comments or actions. If you believe you have been sexually harassed, it is wise to keep detailed records of the events and to archive any emails that provide evidence of harassment.

Sources:

Jersey Journal, "North Bergen Mayor and team face opposition from woman who claimed sexual harassment, filed 53,645 petitions to run in election," 15 Mar 2011.

Jersey Journal, "North Bergen pays $90,000 to settle clerk-typist's suit claiming 'sexist' remarks made her suffer," 17 Sept 2010.

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