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.