Walgreens manager says shoppers don’t like seeing cross, lawsuit claims
MANVILLE — A borough woman says she was fired from a Walgreens in Somerset County after complaining about sexual harassment and being told not to wear a Christian cross while at work.
Beatrice Norz-McMullen took a job as a beauty consultant at the pharmacy last year. In March 2017, she began having to defend her physical space as well as her faith from store managers, according to a discrimination lawsuit she filed last month in Superior Court in Somerville.
The lawsuit accuses manager Hariom “Harry” Arora of brushing against Norz-McMullen and repeatedly commenting on the size of her breasts.
She says one time after he touched her breasts, she reacted by telling him that he “better not f***ing do that again or I will go to corporate.” That resulted in her getting in trouble for using profanity, her lawsuit says.
Norz-McMullen also says that Arora often instructed her not to show off her cross necklace.
She also says that another manager, Barbara Elderman, told her: “People don’t like to see crosses when shopping in retail.”
When she tried to complain about the treatment to higher-ups, she was reprimanded and eventually fired in September, her lawsuit says.
Norz-McMullen claims that Arora called her a “slut” and warned: “If I lose my ability to provide for my children and my home, I’m personally coming after you.”
Arora, who works out of the Walgreens in Warren Township, did not return calls seeking comment. Walgreens also did not return requests seeking comment.
The lawsuit claims religious and sexual discrimination under state law and seeks an unspecified amount in damages.
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