Following is a statement from Katy McClure, attorney for Katie Brennan, of Smith Eibeler, LLC, in response to Gov. Phil Murphy’s statement issued following a January 28, 2019 memo from Deirdre L. Webster Cobb, Esq., Chair/Chief Executive Officer Civil Service Commission, and Mamta Patel, Esq., Director Division of EEO/AA, Civil Service Commission, recommending that N.J.A.C. 4A:7-3.1 be revised to include Gubernatorial Transition Offices.
“We appreciate the Murphy Administration’s clarification to the New Jersey State Policy and Procedures Prohibiting Discrimination in the Workplace. However, pursuant to Senate Concurrent Resolution 148 creating the Joint Select Oversight Committee investigating this matter, it was already established that ‘Gubernatorial transition office employees are, in fact, employees of the State of New Jersey’ and, therefore, covered by the State’s policy.
“We are disappointed that none of the EEO/AA’s recommendations address concerns raised in
Ms. Brennan’s January 7, 2019 lawsuit. Specifically, the State of New Jersey, in the reforms announced yesterday, has not addressed Ms. Brennan’s application for emergent relief respecting N.J.A.C. 4A:7-3.1(j) to void the State’s Strict Confidentiality Directive. Until the State expressly renounces its current Strict Confidentiality Directive, State employees who are victims of sexual misconduct will continue to face discipline, up to termination, if they speak about any aspect of the state’s investigation into their complaints of sexual misconduct.
“Requiring survivors to keep their complaints confidential is a gross violation of their constitutional and statutory rights. We look forward to the Joint Select Oversight Committee continuing its work and making recommendations in this regard.
“We also hope that Gov. Murphy will sign the bill on his desk, prohibiting secrecy via Non-Disclosure Agreements, which has passed the Senate and Assembly. And we hope he will lift the veil of secrecy regarding who, in State government, hired Al Alvarez. After seven days of testimony, the Administration’s inability to provide an answer to this very simple question is beyond perplexing.
“As a State, New Jersey should strive to foster an environment in which sexual assault and harassment victims are supported with respect and dignity in advancing their complaints through a transparent process. Ultimately, policies are
only impactful to the extent they are followed.”