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Letter: Middletown Needs To Ensure a Harassment-Free Environment for All Employees

Carolyn Schwebel says the township must strengthen the Middletown Human Rights Commission to avoid future costly lawsuits.

To the Editor:

Middletown recently settled a racial harassment discrimination lawsuit by one of its own police officers for $300,000 dollars, of which the town must pay $70,000. The township attorney stated that the officials would be reviewing their discrimination policies and procedures.

There was an earlier sexual harassment settlement for a township employee who was harassed by the then-mayor.

A few years ago, while chairperson of the Human Rights Commission, I experienced disability discrimination by the township. As part of my settlement the township was supposed to review discrimination policies and train employees.

It is way past time for Middletown officials to take serious action to ensure a harassment-free environment for all employees. The logical action would be for the Middletown Human Rights Commission to help the Township Committee review its discrimination policies and train employees. 

But wait, the MHRC has been decimated, reduced to four of the required eleven members and is nearly defunct! The remaining members have only met once since December. 

If the MHRC were  allowed to do its job, these expensive lawsuits and cash settlements could be avoided.

Sincerely,
Carolyn Schwebel
Leonardo

gjc September 15, 2012 at 02:21 PM
Most folks don't give two hoots about discrimination of any kind because they feel 1. it will never happen to them and 2. they look at people who file harrassment complaints as whiners. It's very sad. This can happen to anyone at any time and when it does, it will blindside you and leave you wondering why such a disgusting thing happened.
marylou September 15, 2012 at 02:31 PM
Some of them are whiners.And they make it bad for those who are not.
Gary Junstrom September 15, 2012 at 11:46 PM
Oh please. In this world of more lawyers than we need, so-called "harassment" lawsuits are many times, nothing more than get-rich quick schemes meant to soak companies, organizations or government. It's very effective since it is often easier (and cheaper) to settle, rather than fight it. That's why this country needs tort reform - frivolous lawsuits don't exist in places where "loser pays" is the rule.
Joe Cool September 17, 2012 at 11:54 AM
Whahhhhhh. I want money for doing nothing
commonman October 10, 2012 at 04:29 PM
bloodsuckers

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