Towing Co. Employee Wins Sex Harassment Case

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TRENTON – An employee of a Toms River towing company was awarded more damages after being subjected to continual sexual harassment in a decision rendered in her favor by the Division on Civil Rights, the New Jersey Attorney General’s office reported.

The victim had stated she was the target of persistent sexual harassment by her supervisor, the owner of Statewide Roadside Assistance in Toms River. It caused her to quit her job.

According to a press release, she was awarded $57,920 for emotional distress and lost wages in a final decision by the Division on Civil Rights. This is in addition to the initial decision in June which awarded her $7,500 for emotional distress but not lost wages.

Additionally, Statewide and its owner, Neal K. Prasad, must pay the state $52,350 in penalties and costs.

“She was economically dependent on her job for the sake of her children, and regularly harassed on that job – in the form of overtly sexual comments, inappropriately suggestive invitations and unwanted physical touching – by someone who held sway over both her hourly wage and her continued employment,” Attorney General Christopher Porrino said.

“Let this case serve as a message to company owners and workplace supervisors throughout New Jersey,” he said. “There simply is no place for the kind of abusive and sexually-harassing behavior that occurred in this work environment daily, and we will hold accountable any employer who engages in such conduct, or who tolerates it by others.”

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Chris Lundy is News Editor at Micromedia. He has covered Ocean County news and features in various publications since 2003. Lundy worked for Gannett with articles in The Beacon, Observer and Asbury Park Press. He's also written for the Community Connection, Patch and ShoreBeat.