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employee relations, regulations

Car Wash Faces Lawsuit For Firing Employee Who Complained Of Harassment

carwash1A car wash in Kearny, New Jersey is facing a law suit after an employee there said she was harassed about her sexual orientation. The state has filed a civil lawsuit against Kearny Auto Spa, The Observer Online reports. The employee at the center of the dispute said she is openly lesbian and has received unfair treatment because of it, ultimately firing her because she complained about being harassed.

The story goes on to say that the lawsuit accuses the car wash owners of giving the woman less favorable shifts and assignments compared to her male colleagues. The woman says she was repeatedly harassed about her orientation and propositioned for sex. When she complained about the hostile work environment, no corrective action was taken.

Eventually the woman was fired in June of 2013, one month after she first complained and less than a year after she was hired.

“This type of pervasive, sexually harassing workplace conduct alleged in the state’s complaint is unacceptable and, more directly on point, unlawful,” New Jersey Attorney General John Jay Hoffman said in a statement. “In any employment setting, workers have a right to do their jobs without being subjected to inappropriate comments, solicitations for sex and other harassment. Furthermore, employers have a responsibility to protect their employees from such harassment. Allegedly firing a worker because she reported the alleged conduct is an obvious abdication of that responsibility.”

The suit is seeking lost wages and emotional damages. The suit also claims the car wash employer showed “willfull” violation of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination.



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