Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

MDV: Lesbian Cop Wins Millions In Harassment Case


The headline from the AP story on the 1010 (New York's All News, All the Time) website about sums it up. Karen Caggiano, a former Essex County (NJ) sherrif's officer has recovered a huge verdict from a Union County state jury. Not a lot of details or even clear what the legal theory was, but her lawyers said Caggiano "testified that she had to use the same bathroom and locker room as male officers in the late 1990s, and that pictures of naked women were posted on lockers. She endured lewdness, including one sheriff's officer who repeatedly exposed himself in front of her."

Also not clear why the fact she is gay is important, other than perhaps to create more salacious headlines. The search I just ran turned up 13 entries, only one, from the Asbury Park Press, did not mention Caggiano's sexual identity in the headline. Instead it headlined the story, Woman gets $2.8M in harassment suit .

Probably the understatement of the year goes to Sheriff Armando B. Fontoura who said Tuesday that "he expected portions of the verdict to be appealed."


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