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Ocean City Hires Labor Attorney to Probe Beach Patrol Amid Harassment Claims

Fifth Street beach in Ocean City

By Press Release

OCEAN CITY – To conduct a confidential internal investigation of allegations into its beach patrol employees, Ocean City has retained a highly recommended labor attorney. 

According to a release, Vanessa E. James, of the firm Barker, Gelfand, James and Sarvas, will interview members of the Ocean City Beach Patrol (OCBP) and individuals who posted anonymously to an Instagram page alleging a variety of sexual harassment offenses. James will work in consultation with the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office to identify those willing to share information. She also will review OCBP and city policies, procedures and training, and make recommendations for changes if required. 

James has extensive experience and training as an external workplace investigator and is a member of the Association of Workplace Investigators (AWI). Her areas of practice include workplace investigations, employment law, employment discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful discharge, civil rights, police misconduct and professional liability. She comes recommended by the Joint Insurance Fund in which Ocean City participates. 

A search for an independent contractor to oversee the day-to-day operations of the patrol for the 2021 season remains ongoing. 

“Ocean City remains committed to providing all of the resources necessary to complete a thorough investigation and to ensuring a safe workplace for all employees,” Mayor Jay Gillian stated. 

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