Creating Safe Workplaces in NJ Politics
Date: Jul 12, 2022 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
- Kirsten S. Branigan, Esq.
- KSBranigan Law P.C., Montclair
- Kathleen N. Fennelly, Esq.
- McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter, LLP, Morristown
- Kathryn K. McClure, Esq.
- Smith Eibeler, LLC, Holmdel
- Anna Maria Tejada, Esq.
- Kaufman Dolowich & Voluck LLP, Hackensack
- Loretta Weinberg
- Loretta Weinberg, Teaneck
Sexual harassment and discrimination can occur in all different work environments and industries. However, harassment in politics includes some added challenges and concerns. Those working on political campaigns and in legislative offices include volunteers or interns. They often include individuals who are at the start of their careers, and who may not fully realize what inappropriate conduct looks like in the workplace as well as their rights, remedies, and available resources if they are subjected to harassment, discrimination or retaliation. There are also significant power imbalances in these settings.
Our renowned panelists will discuss the unique challenges that are presented in political environments and key existing measures focused on raising awareness and educating political campaign groups and legislative offices, including the release of an important educational video, entitled, “Creating Safe Workplaces in NJ Politics,” that will be widely disseminated in New Jersey this summer. The panel will discuss what is included in the video, what led to the creation of the video, and the related toolkit that is expected to be launched. The panel will also discuss pending legislation that would contain several key components, including creating policies, conducting training and establishing an impartial oversight office (Office of Discrimination and Harassment Prevention) so that individuals, including campaign workers and others working in New Jersey legislative offices have an impartial avenue where they can raise concerns that would be empowered to conduct prompt and effective investigations.