Mark Law Firm Blog

Real Life “Horrible Boss” Sued for Harassment and Discrimination

Posted by Jamison Mark on Jul 11, 2014 5:00:00 PM
New Jersey Attorneys


You have probably had at least one boss that you did not like or did not think treated you fairly.  Some bosses, however, are absolute nightmares to work with.  One of these “horrible bosses” has recently been sued on allegations that she created a hostile work environment, discriminated against employees, harassed workers, and caused them emotional distress through a series of questionable and possibly illegal practices in the workplace.

Bernadene Pearce is accused of being an absolutely atrocious boss. Her alleged behavior has not only been unfair or in bad taste, but has also likely been illegal. Pearce, who works for the Borough of Point Pleasant, is accused of intimidating and harassing her employees by the use of a “Wall of Shame,” on which she depicted employees alongside negative and hostile imagery from the Holocaust, and by keeping an urn filled with the “ashes of problem employees.” Pearce is also accused of verbally harassing employees, calling them derogatory terms such as “waste of a human being,” and making obscene gestures.

Michelle Ruppert, one of Pearce’s employees, refused to let the harassment continue.  Instead, she filed a lawsuit in the Superior Court of Ocean County.  Ruppert claims that Pearce specifically targeted her for additional verbal assaults because she suffers from a disability and that she suffered severe emotional distress as a result of the unfair treatment.  Despite this, Ruppert has persevered and continues to work for the Borough of Point Pleasant as she awaits the outcome of her pending lawsuit.

Michelle Ruppert serves as an inspirational example for anyone who has had to deal with a bad boss.  Any boss may be difficult or hard to deal with at times, but when the boss crosses the line, an employee may be able to make a stand.  Like Michelle Ruppert, employees who are subjected to harassment, discrimination, or a hostile working environment can file a lawsuit to protect their rights and help put an end to unfair treatment in the workplace.

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Topics: Employment Law, Discrimination & Harassment