NJ town settles ‘Jewbacca’ discrimination lawsuit for $1.25M
WALL — The Township Committee has approved a $1.25 million settlement with a former township employee who said he experienced anti-Semitism in the workplace, including verbal comments and the placement of Nazi literature on his desk.
The committee approved the agreement with Brandon Jacobs, who began working for the township in 1999 as a public works and tax collector's office employee, the Asbury Park Press reported. He sued the township in 2015, before going on disability leave and taking a disability retirement in 2016.
The lawsuit, filed by the Sattiraju Law Firm, claimed his leave and retirement were necessitated by emotional distress from the anti-Semitism he experienced, as he "endured having his co-workers and superiors continually barrage him with anti-Semitic comments on a near-daily basis."
Among the instances of anti-Semitism discussed in the lawsuit were employees asking Jacobs why he "killed Jesus,” co-workers and supervisors calling Jacobs a "f--- Jew," a "Cheap Jeward," "Mr. Money Bags," "my big Jewish Buddy" and "Jewbacca," (from Jacobs' "Star Wars," fandom), and telling him he should have numbers tattooed on his arm.
Township attorney Sean T. Kean told the Asbury Park Press that the settlement was a “business decision” the borough made to limit its costs. The township admitted no wrongdoing under the settlement.