Tuesday, 20 Apr 2021

Lawyer allegedly told to ‘dress like nun’ as outfits ‘made prisoners masturbate’

A lawyer is suing her boss after he told her to "dress like a nun" because she was causing prisoners to masturbate.

Jami Pellerin, a former public defence attorney, filed a lawsuit against District Public Defender G Paul Marx after he allegedly made inappropriate comments about the way she would dress.

She claims her boss made repeated sexual and sexist remarks toward her, including asking her about her sex life and telling her to dress less attractive.

In the 28-page lawsuit, Pellerin said Marx would also ask her if she was pregnant, claiming he had told her the office couldn’t afford maternity leave.

The case cites one particular incident when Marx, as well as HR Director Christ St. Julien, allegedly told her that she should dress more "like a nun".

Marx also allegedly warned Pellerin: "Men don't have self-control. As their attorney and an employee of the public defender, you have to protect these men from their basic instinct by being less attractive."

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Pellerin's attorney Jill Craft told News 10 the comments she endured on a regular basis were "intensely personal".

The former attorney says she reported the gender discrimination and harassment to the office's human resources and was fired in retaliation in March 2020.

She alleges Marx had threatened to fire on her on numerous occasions for being too attractive, telling her: "I can fire you for being too attractive, and there's nothing you can do about it."

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Pellerin also claims in the suit that she was underpaid from the day she began her job in comparison to her male colleagues.

Some are reported to have been paid 10% more despite becoming licensed attorneys at around the same time as her.

She was hired as a staff attorney in the juvenile division for $51,000 (£37k) a year on March 1 2017, the suit claims.

Her male predecessor had been paid $56,000 (£41k), it is alleged.

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