TRENTON -- Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the Division on Civil Rights announced today that Ray’s Sub Shop of Ewing has agreed to pay a former employee $5,000 to resolve allegations that she was sexually harassed by the shop owner’s father, and then fired when she complained about being harassed.
Among other things, the woman told DCR that the owner’s father rubbed her back, groped her, and would hug her, with the hug sometimes morphing into an attempted kiss. A co-worker of the complainant who was interviewed by DCR said she personally witnessed the complainant being inappropriately touched on multiple occasions and spoke up about it in the workplace, but to no avail.
In addition to paying the woman, Ray’s Sub Shop must create and disseminate an anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policy that informs all employees of their rights under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD). The shop must also arrange for its staff to receive training on the policy and the LAD, with particular focus on ensuring a harassment-free workplace. And every six months for the next two years, the shop must report to DCR any discrimination or harassment related complaints it receives from employees or job applicants.
“Everyone has a right to be treated with respect in the workplace, and no one should be subjected to unwanted touching, sexually-oriented remarks and other inappropriate conduct,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Our Division on Civil Rights is committed to ensuring that this type of conduct does not occur in the first place, and that individuals have somewhere to turn for help when it does.”
“Sexual harassment is not about sex; it is about power. And it was accepted as ‘business as usual’ for far too long,” said New Jersey Division on Civil Rights Director Rachel Wainer Apter.
“Often people being harassed suffer in silence because they fear retaliation or do not know where to turn,” Director Wainer Apter said. “We encourage anyone who is being sexually harassed, or subjected to any bias-based harassment at work, to contact our office.”
DCR issued a Finding of Probable Cause against Ray’s Sub Shop on September 4, 2019.
Attorney General Grewal and DCR continue to address the problem of sexual harassment on multiple fronts. In addition to investigating and, where appropriate, taking action against persons who engage in sexual harassment or entities that fail to effectively address it, DCR provides outreach and training on sexual harassment.
In addition, in September of this year, DCR joined with the New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NJCASA) to host three public hearings on sexual harassment. The hearings allowed victims of sexual harassment to come forward and share their stories, and it allowed advocates, community organizers, academics, and lawyers to share their recommendations for what New Jersey must do to address this persistent and pervasive problem. DCR is currently, with assistance from the Rutgers International Human Rights Clinic, working to turn information gathered during the hearings into a report that will include concrete policy recommendations.