A Black girl has filed a lawsuit versus the Cumberland County Section of Health, proclaiming her supervisors have harassed her with racist, discriminatory and sexist remarks for years and refused to boost her soon after she created problems.
Crystal L. Brown, 39, claims in court docket paperwork she is the only African-American functioning in the county well being department’s environmental division and that the county has a person of the the very least various workforces in New Jersey.
“(Cumberland County) employs a predominantly Caucasian workforce with respect to white-collar positions, especially, despite the fact that not limited to the DOH,” states the go well with, filed more than the summer time in New Jersey Top-quality Court.
In an respond to submitted with the court on Nov. 4, lawyers for the county denied its workforce is less assorted than other New Jersey counties, and extra that any damages Brown is proclaiming have been “caused by the carelessness of 3rd events about whom (the county) experienced no control.”
Cumberland County officers and lawyers representing the county in court did not quickly respond Wednesday to requests for comment on the match.
Brown, of Bridgeton, is a registered environmental wellness expert and has worked in the same position considering that September 2015. She is also a mother of two children, just one of them who has autism, and serves as shop steward for her union, according to courtroom filings.
In her criticism, Brown suggests she’s done her career in an exemplary way for 15 years, despite a “frequent lack of support, harassment and retaliation” from supervisors. She explained the troubles obtained worse in 2019 when a new overall health office director was appointed.
Brown claims that when she brought her little ones to do the job, an assistant health officer referred to them as “hooligans.”
When Brown told a supervisor that her Ancestry.com results confirmed some of her ancestors have been Irish, he allegedly mentioned, “mixed women of all ages like (Brown) are the end result of white gentlemen (who) have been sexually promiscuous.”
The supervisor also allegedly bragged “that his grandfather’s nickname was ‘father of numerous women of all ages,’” the accommodate states.
The grievance states that for the duration of the Super Bowl 2020 halftime exhibit, showcasing Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, the supervisor allegedly said in entrance of employees, “I didn’t check out that slut exhibit.”
In late 2019 and early 2020, Brown claims she became conscious of the department’s alleged unlawful methods when it arrived to reimbursing associates of the community who had overpaid inspection fees for their septic purposes.
Brown states she alerted her supervisors verbally and in an email about the alleged finance situation and that, alternatively of addressing the issue, they bore down on her.
“(Supervisors) retaliated towards plaintiff for her disclosure by restructuring the septic application to have her removed from it,” the suit states. Brown also claims the supervisors turned a lot more belligerent and verbally abusive toward her.
“Defendants known as plaintiff names this kind of as ‘aggressive, argumentative or a boat sinker,’” the accommodate states.
The lawsuit claims supervisors unsuccessful to promote her or approve her request to operate on qualities outside the house Cumberland County.
When she submitted an Open General public Data Requests to see if she experienced been the topic of e-mails concerning supervisors, they denied her ask for, the fit states.
“Defendants had been so enraged by plaintiff’s OPRA ask for that they more intensified their retaliatory marketing campaign from her,” the fit states, adding that Brown was then subjected to “baseless disciplinary steps.”
“Many of these disciplinary actions said no rational basis for the discipline,” the lawsuit states. “Defendants experienced resolved to damage plaintiff’s career by tarnishing her mostly unblemished (record) and established the phase for her greatest termination.”
The lawsuit accuses Cumberland County, supervisors and others not nevertheless identified of violating Brown’s civil legal rights underneath New Jersey’s Regulation Versus Discrimination and the state’s Conscientious Staff Defense Act.
The lawsuit seeks damages for humiliation, loss of advertising opportunities and psychological distress.
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Anthony G. Attrino may be arrived at at [email protected]. Stick to him on Twitter @TonyAttrino. Locate NJ.com on Fb.