Earlier this month, Governor Phil Murphy announced new state policies that establish procedures for managing sexual misconduct allegations against state employees.
Victims or perpetrators of sexual misconduct such as sexual assault or sexual harassment do not need to be state employees at the time of a sexual assault in order to be covered by the policy. The revised policy also expands the reach of sexual misconduct rules by including applicants and employees of gubernatorial transition offices.
Other changes to New Jersey’s sexual misconduct policies include:
Broadening the definition of sexual assault.
Providing clearer guidelines for reporting sexual misconduct incidents.
Adding interim measures to separate or otherwise protect parties in an EEO complaint.
In a statement, Governor Murphy declared that the changes make “significant and impactful changes” to how misconduct and sexual harassment charges are handled in the state government.
Updated State Policies Are Response to Handling of Alvarez Sexual Assault Allegation
The updated sexual misconduct policies are a direct response to an allegation of sexual assault against a former Governor Murphy campaign staffer.
Katie Brennan, chief of staff at the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, accused Albert J. Alvarez, former campaign staffer, of a July 2017 sexual assault. According to Brennan, she told Murphy’s staff multiple times about the attack but the alleged assailant was never charged. Alvarez was later hired for a top state job after Brennan’s complaint, which he has since left.
The state’s equal employment opportunity office had stated that it had no jurisdiction over Brennan’s alleged assault because she and Alvarez were not state employees when the assault is said to have occurred.
In January, Katie Brennan filed a lawsuit accusing the state of New Jersey of using the existing workplace discrimination policy to hide the alleged assault from Governor Murphy as well as to silence her as the alleged victim.
Let Us Know If You Have Been a Victim of a Sexual Assault
If you or a family member has experienced bullying, sexual assault, sexual harassment of any kind, or has been injured in an accident or by any other type of personal injury, or needs help with any employment discrimination or family law issue, please contact the Law Offices of Paul S. Foreman, P.C. immediately. We have the right experience to get the optimal results for your case. Please call us for a free consultation. Attorney Paul S. Foreman, personal injury attorney in Essex County, will fight to secure justice for you and your family. You can reach us at 973-315-3232 or contact us via the website.