NJ Court Reinstates DHL Hostile Workplace Suit

November 23, 2010 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – A New Jersey state appellate court has given a female plaintiff permission to move forward with allegations her former employer fostered a gender-based hostile work environment.

The Superior Court of New Jersey Appellate Division sent Judy M. Young’s case back to a lower court for additional proceedings on the hostile workplace environment claims against DHL Express. However the appellate judge upheld a lower court’s ruling throwing out her claims DHL Express was guilty of wrongful discharge for her July 2006 firing. The company claimed Young had lied about her whereabouts while on company time including entering false information into an electronic time tracking program.

According to the appellate panel, DHL had “presented to the court compelling testimonial and documentary proof that plaintiff was discharged by DHL for theft of company time and for falsification of company documents.”

However, regarding her hostile workplace environment charge, the appellate judges said Young was frequently subjected to hostile comments by male co-workers including some in front of supervisors who took no corrective action. “A jury could reasonably find that, if those comments were made, they were sufficiently severe and pervasive to create a gender-based hostile work environment,” the appellate judges said.

The ruling is at http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/opinions/a0706-09.pdf.