The 51-page lawsuit details of number of sexual harassment and retaliation incidents against the female sergeants.

Three female Ocean County correction officers have filed a lawsuit, contending that they have endured years of sexual harassment, retaliation for complaints and a hostile work environment.

In the 51-page suit against the Ocean County Department of Corrections and others, the women — all sergeants who have worked in the department between seven and 23 years — said managers created a situation where male workers feel secure “that even the most egregious discriminatory conduct toward female workers will be overlooked, excused, disbelieved or labeled as the grievance of a disgruntled employee.”

The women list in the suit about 30 violations of federal and state law by Department of Correction workers, including claims that a drill sergeant asked one of the women if she has sex with black men or performs fellatio and a different male officer who commented on one of the woman’s breasts and her grey hair.

The 51-page suit — brought by Sarah Prioli, 35, Elizabeth Clark, 64, both of Jackson Township and Nicole Horan, 39, of Lacey Township — contends that the Corrections Department also forced the women to apologized to their male counterpart they complained about in order to keep their jobs.

In addition to the Corrections Department, the suit also names as defendants Ocean County Jail Warden Sandra Mueller; Deputy Warren Joseph Valenti, who was promoted from captain while the women were there, Capt. John Haberbaush and Lt. Joshua Dickenson.

Neither the warden nor the deputy warden returned calls seeking comment on Wednesday afternoon.

Clarke, who has worked at the jail since 1994, said in the lawsuit that for 23 years she witnessed women struggle for equality and mostly those who openly accepted sexual harassment and hostility were granted employment opportunities.

All three sergeants outlined instances when they were forced to longer hours, and more double shifts than their male counterparts, some of which who were junior sergeants and officers.

On one occasion, all three women were reprimanded for not performing a strip-search even though the official who reprimanded them knew the women were not told to perform the search, and that one of the officers was not on duty that day, according to the suit.

Also included in the allegations are incidents in which their male counterparts would write sexual and demeaning notes about the women and include the badge number of …read more

Source:: New Jersey Real-Time News


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3 correction officers file suit claiming years of sexual harassment, retaliation

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