A secretary who has worked for the Passaic School District for over a decade has recently filed a lawsuit in New Jersey Superior Court alleging that she was sexually harassed by a city councilman. Jenny Gallo's claim accuses Councilman Terrence Love of repeatedly making inappropriate comments and unwanted sexual advances. As a result of the alleged offending conduct, Gallo has filed a sexual harassment claim under New Jersey's Law Against Discrimination (LAD) seeking punitive and other damages.
Councilman Love was selected to serve as Grant School No. 7's acting principal in April. Almost immediately after taking the job, however, Love allegedly began sexually harassing Gallo. Gallo claims that the harassment began when Love made repeated comments about her appearance and clothing. The harassment escalated when Love made comments about wanting to take Gallo on dates and vacations. Love even proposed that the two have an affair similar to the affair depicted in the movie "Secretary." Gallo claims that she repeatedly denied Love's advances and routinely reminded him that she is married.
Eventually, Love began to inappropriately touch Gallo by intentionally brushing up against her. Gallo alleges that the misconduct culminated one evening while she was leaving the school. As she was walking to her car, Gallo claims that Love touched her back, grabbed her hair, and pressed his crotch into her. In response to the incident, Gallo claims that she screamed, "STOP!" and hastily tried to get into her vehicle.
Although Gallo has filed a lawsuit against Love, he is still serving as the school's acting principal. Gallo no longer works at the school, but is still employed as an administrative assistant by the Passaic Board of Education. Gallo believes that she was subjected to a hostile work environment due to Love's inappropriate behavior. She hopes that the NJ LAD, which prohibits sexual harassment, will help her recover from the emotional damage caused by the misconduct, and that a court will take action to restore the safe workplace to which she is entitled.
Source: The Record, "School secretary accuses Passaic councilman of sexual harassment in lawsuit," John Petrick, Aug. 22, 2013