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New Jersey Chamber of Commerce faces sexual harassment lawsuit

Sexual harassment can come in many different forms and happens in both the private and public sectors. In a recent news story, a former executive of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce filed a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment by some fairly well-known people.

The lawsuit claims the 52-year-old woman was repeatedly harassed by what she called the business group's "boys club," which often got drunk during and after work, went to strip clubs and ridiculed women. She also claims one executive who took part in the harassment was fired in 2010 for reasons not related to her claims but was then given a job in Gov. Chris Christie's office as a policy adviser. Her complaint also alleges two instances where she was degraded in 2001 by the then-governor.

The woman states in her lawsuit that the chamber did not take her complaints seriously, even though it had a policy against sexual harassment, and that she was underpaid when compared to her male colleagues. As a result, she claims she developed anxiety, depression, hypertension and headaches. She says this caused her to take disability leave. She is seeking damages to include lost pay, lost benefits, pain and suffering, and attorneys fees. A spokesperson for the New Jersey chamber says there is no merit to her suit or allegations.

The final outcome of this lawsuit will probably be determined by a court. When employees feel as if they are being discriminated or believe they are victims of sexual harassment, legal representation may help them figure out the best course of action.

Source: The New Jersey Local News, "Ex-N.J. Chamber of Commerce official was sexually harassed on the job- lawsuit alleges," Christopher Baxter, Oct. 21, 2011

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