Brick Township Court Clerk alleges anti-LGBT bias

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Sarah Fearon filed a bias lawsuit against Brick Township

Sarah Fearon, a Brick Township court clerk, has filed a lawsuit against the township and her supervisors, alleging anti-gay and anti-LGBT bias. The suit comes after Fearon reported the abuses to administrators to no avail. Fearon, who is gay, has been with the township’s municipal court since March 2016.

In her complaint, Fearon claimed that she was “unapologetically mocked” and complaints dismissed as a mental health disorder. When reporting racial and homophobic comments made by colleagues in the office, Fearon was told by her manager to “brush it off” and “not (to) worry about it.”

“Our client worked in such a toxic environment that her co-workers and supervisors felt entitled to make discriminatory and disparaging comments on almost a daily basis,” Fearon’s attorney Matthew A. Luber, of the McOmber & McOmber law firm said in a statement. “The notion that such bigoted behavior could occur in any workplace, let alone within the public court system, is truly appalling.”

The 30-page lawsuit alleges that Brick Township officials “cultivated a workplace that allowed and encouraged employees and supervisors to engage in crude, racist, and homophobic behavior.” Fearon claims she was retaliated against and ostracized for her complaints about her colleagues’ behavior.

Fearon claims she complained to township Business Administrator Joanne Bergin in November 2019, stating that the “conduct makes the workplace extremely uncomfortable.”

Bergin allegedly responded by saying, “maybe you should tell everyone that you are gay so they stop making jokes and comments.”

Bergin as well as Fearon’s immediate supervisor are also being sued in addition to the township. In addition to damages, the lawsuit also seeks to implement sensitivity training for township workers.