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Hermann v. Fairleigh Dickinson University

Decided: April 13, 1982.

JOSEPHINE HERMANN, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON UNIVERSITY, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT



On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Bergen County.

Bischoff, King and Polow.*fn1The opinion of the court was delivered by Polow, J.A.D.

Polow

[183 NJSuper Page 501] Plaintiff brought an action in the Law Division against her former employer for damages allegedly suffered as the result of discrimination. Her complaint was dismissed by the trial judge who determined that the suit was excluded by a previous adverse ruling on the same grievance in the Division on Civil

Rights (Division). N.J.S.A. 10:5-27. On this appeal plaintiff argues that the administrative finding of "no probable cause" effectively deprived her of a hearing on her grievance and therefore there was no "final determination" in the Division which would bar redress in the courts. We disagree and affirm.

Plaintiff had been employed at defendant's Rutherford campus for 11 years, ultimately advancing to the position of "senior accountant." On September 8, 1978 she was discharged. She filed a complaint with the Division alleging discrimination based upon her age, 53, and her sex, in violation of N.J.S.A. 10:5-1 et seq. Her complaint set forth the following allegations:

A. COMPLAINANT WAS THE ONLY FEMALE SENIOR ACCOUNT IN HER DEPARTMENT

B. COMPLAINANT HAD THE MOST SENIORITY OF THE SENIOR AND JUNIOR ACCOUNTANTS

C. COMPLAINANT FEELS THAT MR. LYONS METHOD OF SUPERVISION OF HER WAS DISCRIMINATORY AS COMPARED TO HER MALE CO-WORKERS

D. COMPLAINANT STATES MR. LYONS WOULD TELL HER TO DO SOMETHING, THEN CHANGE THE METHOD AND TELL HER SHE DID IT WRONG. THIS WAS NOT DONE TO THE YOUNGER ACCOUNTANTS

E. COMPLAINANT STATES SHE ALWAYS PERFORMED IN A SATISFACTORY MANNER

After a factfinding conference and an administrative investigation the field investigator submitted the following report:

Specifically, the complainant alleged discrimination based on sex and age. The Complainant is 53 years of age and of the female gender. The complainant alleged that she was laid-off and was the only female Senior Accountant. The Complainant alleged that she always performed her work in a satisfactorily manner.

However, the investigation revealed that the Complainant was not laid-off, but rather, discharged on September 8, 1978. The discharge was based on unsatisfactory work regarding the ...


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