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Woman settles with township in sexual harassment suit

A New Jersey emergency medical technician agreed to $25,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit she filed against the township that employs her. The amount covers back pay, front pay and compensatory damages. The settlement agreement that led to the payment did not include an admission of guilt and was decided by the Deptford Township’s insurance carrier.

The employee said that she went to the EMS chief with a complaint of sexual harassment, showing him text messages soliciting sex that she received from her supervisor during work hours. The supervisor who was accused of the harassment chose to resign instead of allowing for an investigation. The employee claims that after this, a township solicitor told her that he had determined that she was having a consensual sexual relationship with her boss and she would be suspended from her position if she didn’t resign.

The woman had to make an effort not to be alone with her supervisor. She was afraid that she would have to be in an ambulance with him when it was announced that supervisors would start accompanying EMTs on the job.

In this case, the boss put the employee in a difficult and uncomfortable position. There are laws in place that restrict how employers treat employees. One of the areas that protects employees is laws addressing sexual harassment. Employers are required to have training in place designed to prevent sexual harassment. This training lets employees know what options they have open to them if they have been harassed in the workplace. The Deptford woman’s suit also charged the EMS with failure to provide that training. If an employee has questions about workplace sexual harassment or believes he or she may have been harassed, a lawyer may be able to answer questions and let him or her know actions to consider taking.

Source: NJ.com, “Deptford EMT accepts sexual harassment settlement case sum“, Andy Polhamus, May 27, 2014

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