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New Jersey Township settles discrimination suit

A New Jersey Township will pay out a $500,000 settlement concerning possible sexual harassment and racial discrimination at their municipal offices. It has been reported that a woman was sexually groped, mocked for her sexual orientation and was forced to endure racial slurs while she worked for the township in the role of laborer.

Despite the serious consequences of sexual harassment, employers have not always been responsive to changes and are often reluctant to implement policies that will keep such behavior in check. This is a failure of supervisors looking after those it employs, and it is also a failure of municipal management and elected officials to provide a workplace atmosphere that is free of sexual harassment and discrimination.

One of the supervisors of the employee alleging discrimination told the woman that he had no control over what the other employees said or did. Though one individual was suspended from his job for 45-days concerning his behavior, other employees apparently were not punished for their harassment of this employee.

Victims of sexual harassment and racial discrimination at the work place should consider legal assistance after such behavior has taken place. Attorneys experienced in the area of workplace discrimination are familiar with what conduct should and should not be tolerated at the workplace and can often force businesses to make changes that will prevent sexual harassment from ever taking place.

As a result of the lawsuit, a number of supervisors and employees of the municipality were disciplined and/or suspended. However, none of the individuals were fired. Still, it may send a message that in the future such discriminatory conduct is not welcome.

Source: NJ.com, "Hamilton to pay $500,000 to former parks employee in discrimination suit," by Erin Duffy, Jan. 18, 2012

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