With the CD3 Congressional Republican primary election fastly approaching on June 7th, the two front running candidates, Ian Smith, and Bob Healey, are out there trying to get every vote they can. The fight is on to be the one to face Andy Kim in the fall, a fight against the progressives that might prove much more difficult for Healey, than Smith, especially considering the the facts alleged in a recently settled lawsuit against his company, Viking Yachts, where an employee was put through hell after the management at Viking Yachts found out that he was gay.
When John Diller was hired at Viking Yachts in 2014, the fact that he was a gay, was unknown to his employers, and for the first couple of years he was employed, he had no problems with his working conditions. One of Diller’s supervisors, David Wilson, made it clear during a conversation with Diller that Viking Yachts did not allow “faggots” to work there, making Diller obviously uncomfortable. In 2016, Diller was set to get married, but that meant he had to inform his employer in order for his partner to get benefits.
Diller alleges in the complaint, that after he informed his employer of his sexual orientation in 2016, his working conditions became extremely hostile. Diller alleges that Wilson began making “lewd sexual comments” towards him and also “drastically change Plaintiff’s(Diller’s) work load without explanation”.
Diller alleged that when he asked to be transferred from Wilson’s department due to the hostile working conditions, that “Viking took no action”, which purposely left Diller in a hostile environment. Diller’s complaint goes on to allege that due to the harassment, Diller needed to seek therapy in 2017, and by 2019 , the abuse had caused him physical symptoms that forced him to go on disability.
When Diller returned, he alleged that he again requested that Viking transfer him from Mr. Wilson’s department, but instead of doing so, they told that there was no other place for him at the company, and fired him.
The lawsuit was settled for an undisclosed amount shortly before the time that Healey decided to run for Congress in 2021, which was also around the same time Healey was battling Moorestown to have a servants quarters built above his garage for an Au Paire. Moorestown denied the application for the variance but Healey appealed to the Superior Court, where the court upheld the zoning boards decision to deny the application.
In May, 2021, just months prior to settling the suit, Viking Yachts held a massive vaccination clinic at their New Gretna facility, where 210 of their employees were given the Phizer Vaccine. A statement released by Viking said that they had a “target of 70% of their workers vaccinated to achieve herd immunity, but the overall goal is to have all of our boatbuilders protected”.
I reached out to Viking to find out if the vaccines were mandated for all employees, and they let me know that they were encouraged, but not mandated. Viking, who has its own health services department that is also an approved vaccination distribution site, worked closely with Governor Phil Murphy to secure additional doses for their employees. As of May of 2021, Viking had encouraged at least 550 of their 1350 workers to take the jab.
When republican voters make their choice for their CD3 candidate, they have to consider which of the two candidates will be best suited to beat Andy Kim. Will they choose the defiant business owner who fought against Phil Murphy’s overreach, Ian Smith, or will they choose the compliant business owner who worked with Phil Murphy, Bob Healey?