Employment Law Monthly - October 2014
Dunkley v. S. Coraluzzo Petroleum Transporter: How to Appropriately Combat a Hostile Work Environment
By Okechi C. Ogbuokiri, Esq.
Investigating and remediating allegations of a hostile work environment, discrimination, or harassment within the workplace can be daunting and intimidating. However, the New Jersey Appellate Division recently published a favorable opinion for employers that outlines a systematic approach to prevent disgruntled employees from successfully pursuing such claims. In Dunkley v. S. Coraluzzo Petroleum Transporter, 437 N.J. Super. 366 (App. Div. 2014), the court found that a company could not be vicariously liable for an employee's racially charged comments because it (1) maintained well-defined anti-discrimination/harassment policies and complaint procedures; (2) distributed and trained its employees on such policies; and (3) documented its use and implementation of the same.