PIRO ZINNA SECURES $1.1 MILLION SEXUAL HARASSMENT/ GENDER DISCRIMINATION SETTLEMENT FOR FORMER VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER
Beginning in 2004, Kerry Ann Mansueto, a Carteret volunteer firefighter and EMT who aspired to become Carteret’s first female career firefighter, endured repeated unwanted sexual advances and sexually explicit communications from other EMTs and firefighters. Firefighters later admitted under oath that they lied to cover up this conduct when Ms. Mansueto reported it. The harassment escalated thereafter.
On one occasion, a firefighter broke into Ms. Mansueto’s house and demanded sexual favors. Another firefighter admitted under oath to sending Ms. Mansueto a text message containing a lewd photo. In November 2010, the harassment culminated with Ms. Mansueto being left in a burning house after responding to a fire call.
In July of 2011, Ms Mansueto’s attorney, Litigation Partner, Alan Genitempo, filed suit on behalf of Ms. Mansueto and against the Borough and the Carteret Fire Department. On the eve of trial, the parties reached a $1.1 million settlement, concluding three years of litigation. Ms Mansueto also agreed to participate as needed in the Borough’s efforts to discipline her harassers. In addition, at Ms. Mansueto’s instance, the Borough agreed to provide regular, mandatory sexual harassment training to all its employees and to the Volunteer Fire Department.
Regarding the settlement, Genitempo said, “Carteret created a culture where this kind of reprehensible behavior was generally accepted and Kerry has fought to change it. We are proud of the progress she has made for other women.”
Genitempo and the other members of the firm’s litigation group have vigorously represented victims of workplace harassment and discrimination for more than 25 years.
Piro, Zinna, Cifelli, Paris & Genitempo is a 10 attorney firm which has been located in Nutley since its founding by James Piro in 1969. It engages in the general practice of law from its offices located at 360 Passaic Avenue, Nutley, New Jersey.
For more information about the Firm, please visit us at www.pirozinnalaw.com