West Orange, NJ, July 31, 2008 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed the decision by the New Jersey Supreme Court which held that anti-Semitic comments directed toward a police officer by co-workers and supervisors were improperly dismissed by a lower court as "mere teasing."
Calling the decision "a critical step forward in protecting Jewish workers in New Jersey," Lawrence Cooper, New Jersey Regional Board Chair, and Etzion Neuer, New Jersey Regional Director issued the following statement:
This decision reversed a very troubling intermediate appellate court ruling that coworkers and supervisors could get away with repeated anti-Semitic slurs against a colleague.
The New Jersey Supreme Court clearly and unequivocally reversed the Superior Court, Appellate Division's ruling, ending forever a line of cases that was making it extremely difficult for victims of workplace anti-Semitism to have their day in court.
This decision is a critical step forward in protecting Jewish workers in New Jersey. It also reaffirms the commitment of the New Jersey Supreme Court to ensuring that anti-Semitism has no home in New Jersey workplaces.
This case, Cutler v. Dorn (New Jersey Supreme 7/31/08), involves a Jewish police officer from Haddonfield, NJ, who claimed that other police officers' anti-Semitic remarks and actions created a hostile work environment.
ADL filed a letter brief in support of the police officer, urging the New Jersey Supreme Court to reverse that part of the intermediate appellate court's decision which dismissed several anti-Semitic comments made by the officer's supervisor and co-workers as "mere teasing." The brief argued that the use of the term "teasing" with regard to derogatory comments like 'dirty Jew' and 'Jews make all the money' failed to capture the true harm these remarks were meant to convey.