A 31-year-old female law clerk to a male Ocean County Family Division judge filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against her former boss earlier this month.
In her filing, the law clerk detailed how she and her predecessors were subjected to repeated humiliation, belittling and yelling at the hands of their boss. She also described how the judge routinely spoke about having the ability to ruin individuals’ careers.
The plaintiff noted in her filing that he also made comments about her looks. He apparently told her that his wife feared that the law clerk was “too attractive” for him to work with. She also chronicled how he’d approach her desk and stand next to her far closer than she felt comfortable with.
In another instance, she said that she was asked to come into the judge’s office. When she went in there, she said that she found him sitting with his legs spread open. When he requested for her to come closer and she refused, he reportedly screamed at her to leave his office.
She was subjected to racial discrimination at his hands as well. After finding out about her Haitian heritage, he asked how she felt about the colonization of her parents’ country. He also asked about whether her mom and dad are married and about the parentage of her siblings.
The clerk finally mustered the strength to report the judge’s alleged sexual harassment and racial discrimination in April of 2017. By May, she was reassigned to work in another judge’s chambers. The defendant retained his role in Ocean County up until this past November when he was sent to preside over the Burlington County Civil Division.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s implied or explicit, verbal or physical; sexual harassment in the workplace is illegal in New Jersey. It’s imperative for you to report and document offensive behaviors to your employer to ensure that no one else has to endure the same type of treatment again. A sexual harassment attorney can advocate for you and others who have been subjected to a hostile work environment.