99 Hudson Developer, Ex-Worker Settle Discrimination Suit

Developer of 99 Hudson Settles Discrimination Suit

The developer of New Jersey’s tallest building, 99 Hudson, and a former employee have settled claims that she was fired for complaining that the company used deportation threats and sexual harassment to control its young Chinese workforce.

A stipulation of dismissal filed on January 4th in state court indicated that Mengxun Han’s complaint against 99 Hudson developer China Overseas America Inc. and its executives was “amicably resolved by and between the parties” and therefore tossed with prejudice, with no costs against either party. The document did not include details of the settlement terms.

The Complaint was filed in February 2021 and targeted working condition surrounding 99 Hudson, described on its website as a 79-story luxury condominium building gracing Jersey City’s waterfront. Han joined China Overseas America as an intern in 2015 and was a full-time architectural planner when she was terminated in 2020.

Han’s complaint said it was widely understood that if the company did not support a visa application, employees could face immediate deportation in as little as 60 days after China Overseas America notified immigration authorities.

Han also alleged that the company’s top level was a “male-dominated” culture of sexual harassment. Han claims that she was the recipient of unwanted comments and touching by male executives, along with her observations that males received timely promotions while hers were delayed.

Han further alleged that she was shut out of management meetings, relegated to menial tasks such as receptionist work and clearing up after executives, and “faced resistance” when requesting time off for her wedding and honeymoon.

Han claimed that the company’s COVID -19 policies were also inconsistent, alleging she was threatened with termination if she did not physically report to work, even though certain male employees were allowed to work remotely after expressing pandemic concerns.

Han’s reports of the concerning conduct to local executives went completely unaddressed, as she claimed that she went to the company’s chairman, who “broadly dismissed” her comments.

The complaint claims that Han was terminated in September 2020 despite having a favorable review the year before.

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