The complainant stated that throughout her employment, the owner repeatedly made discriminatory comments about the fact that she is a lesbian in front of other employees and customers.
As part of its investigation, DCR interviewed several current employees, former employees, and customers of Professional Touch who corroborated the complainant’s claims.
“There simply is no place in the workplace for unwanted touching, lewd comments, inappropriate remarks about an individual’s sexual orientation or other forms of harassment,” state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said in a statement.
“Employers have a duty to ensure a discrimination and harassment-free work environment. When they fail to do so, the Division on Civil Rights will take action.”
“Every person in New Jersey has the right to be free from sexual harassment and harassment based on sexual orientation at work,” added DCR Deputy Director Rosemary DiSavino.
“If employers subject their employees to illegal harassment, DCR will aggressively enforce the law.”
One former employee recalled that the owner made a disgusted facial expression while telling her that the complainant is gay.
Furthermore, a customer described an instance in which he observed the owner mocking the complainant behind her back by making a lewd gesture alluding to her sexual orientation.
The business has denied the allegations made against them.