Effective Anti-Harassment Policy Warrants Summary Judgment On Hostile Work Environment Claim, District Of New Jersey Holds

The New Jersey District Court recently reiterated the importance of maintaining effective anti-harassment policies, and taking prompt and effective remedial measures following harassment complaints. In Barroso v. Lidestri Foods, Inc., 2013 WL 1314438 (D.N.J, March 28, 2013), the plaintiff alleged that he was subjected to a hostile work environment under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) as a result of several untoward actions on the part of his shift manager (who despite his title, was not a supervisor for purposes of the NJLAD). Granting summary judgment for the employer, the court explained that the employer had an effective anti-harassment policy, effective reporting mechanism, and took prompt remedial action to investigate and address the plaintiff’s complaints. Indeed, within seven business days of the plaintiff’s complaint, the employer completed an internal investigation, discussed the findings among upper management, and decided to terminate the shift manager’s employment. 

Note: This article was published in the September 2013 issue of the New Jersey eAuthority.