Workplace discrimination and harassment are all too commonplace, as evidenced by the recent story of sexual harassment in a Mercer County Catholic church. Reverend Gerrard Lynch resigned from his post at The Church of Saint Ann in Lawrenceville, NJ earlier this month after allegedly making suggestive comments to female employees of the church. Today, our workplace discrimination and sexual harassment attorneys will discuss the details of this case and how New Jersey state and federal laws protects our citizens from workplace discrimination.
Mercer County, NJ Sexual Harassment Attorneys Discuss Details of Priest’s Resignation
Amongst the claims made against Rev. Lynch were stories that he verbally harassed female colleagues in a demeaning and sexual manner. According to a nj.com article, Lynch repeatedly made comments about the women’s appearance, leading them to feel uncomfortable at the workplace and causing them “consternation and loss of faith”. Additionally, Rev. Lynch allegedly told other church members and employees that an employee was engaged in an illicit affair with a priest, that a female colleague was sexual promiscuous, and much more.
The accusers have also pointed out that the Diocese of Trenton was informed of the misconduct and failed to take any corrective measures. After trying to work with the Diocese, the victims filed a formal lawsuit early in 2018 claiming sexual discrimination. Rev. Lynch has since left the parish and has taken a position at the Trinitarian Order in Trenton. As the church finds a replacement, Monsignor Casimir Ladzinski has been assigned as an interim replacement.
Princeton Workplace Discrimination Lawyers Identify Rights of Employees
Our Princeton workplace discrimination lawyers would like to point out that at this point, all evidence presented in this case should be considered as mere allegation, as nothing has yet been proven in a court of law. However, if these allegations prove to be true, the actions of Rev. Lynch would certainly be grounds for a sexual discrimination lawsuit. This is based on several key factors:
- Female employees were treated differently than male employees. As far as we know, there were no instances of inappropriate comments or behavior directed towards men
- The inappropriate comments were either directly sexual or inferentially sexual in nature. For example, even offhand comments about women’s appearances in either a positive or negative manner (both of which were reported in this case) may be construed as sexual
- The victims’ suffered from a hostile work environment and were made to feel uncomfortable at their place of work
While many forms of workplace discrimination surround an employee being passed over for a promotion, failure to secure a job, get a pay raise, and so forth, employees are also entitled to a safe and secure working environment. In the case we are discussing today, this is a case of a hostile work environment rather than what is considered quid pro quo sexual harassment. Both of these situations are sufficient grounds for legal action.
Contact our Hamilton Workers’ Rights Discrimination Attorneys Today
At The Law Offices of Cohen & Riechelson, our workers’ rights discrimination attorneys believe that everyone is entitled to work without the fear of sexual or any other forms of harassment. Our firm has been protecting the legal rights of New Jersey employees since opening our doors in 1972. Lean on our attorneys’ extensive experience which we have cultivated through helping Mercer County clients from towns like Trenton, Hamilton, Princeton, Lawrence, New Brunswick, and all of Central New Jersey seek justice for workplace discrimination. Our goal is to offer all of our clients legal solutions which are ethical, personal, and professional.
If you or a loved one have any questions or concerns when it comes to workplace harassment, hostile work environment, sexual harassment, or any other forms of workplace discrimination, please contact us online or call our Hamilton, NJ offices at (609) 528-2596 today for a free and confidential consultation.