A former employee has sued Family First Life and parent company Integrity Marketing Group for sexual harassment, fostering a hostile work environment and unlawful retaliation.

In her January 18th filed New Jersey Complaint, Tiffany Tranghese describes herself as “an attractive female in her early 30s”.

Tranghese (right) claims she started working for Family First Life as Director of Recruitment in May 2023.

[Tranghese’s] role was fully remote, except for an occasional visit to Family First’s office located in East Hanover, New Jersey approximately two times a month.

At a Family First Life training event held during Tranghese’s first week of work, she claims she was “directed to use her personal Instagram account for job recruiting purposes.”

[Tranghese] did not want strangers to have access to her personal life and information about her young son, so she created another personal Instagram page to use for work.

I don’t really know how to categorize Tranghese’s documented experiences at Family First Life, so I’ll just quote them as presented in her Complaint.

Family First Life “reprimanded” Tranghese for being single

In approximately June of 2023, Plaintiff attended a sales conference and was approached by an agent who asked if she was married.

Plaintiff honestly responded that she was not married. To her surprise, Plaintiff was subsequently reprimanded by her supervisor, Marc Meade, who informed her that since the agent was married her response could have made the agent feel uncomfortable.

Plaintiff’s own discomfort was completely ignored, and it was never acknowledged that the agent asked Plaintiff about her marital status in the first place.

Family First Life syndicated religious content on Tranghese’s personal social media accounts

During Plaintiff’s employment, Mr. Meade would post religious content to his personal social media account and tag Plaintiff’s personal Instagram account, making Marc’s religious posts visible on Plaintiff’s own page and appearing as if she also endorsed this religious content.

This made Plaintiff extremely uncomfortable. Plaintiff had to make the difficult decision to block her own boss.

Recruiting for Family First Life resulted in “unwanted sexual messages”

Plaintiff proceeded to use the second personal Instagram page for recruiting purposes.

As part of her recruiting efforts, she had to reach out to people she did not personally know, including men.

She began receiving sexual messages from men that were unwanted and made her very uncomfortable and Plaintiff eventually deleted the account.

Family First dismissed Tranghese’s concerns or otherwise ignored her reports

Plaintiff informed Defendants about the sexual harassment. Plaintiff requested that she be able to use business social media accounts to perform her work, such as LinkedIn Recruiter, which would clearly identify that Plaintiff was a recruiter reaching out for business purposes.

Defendants insisted that Plaintiff continue to use her personal Instagram account.

Defendants took no other actions to address Plaintiff’s complaint of sexual harassment.

Plaintiff continued to insist that she should not have to tolerate sexual harassment and that she could perform her job duties on social media by using a professional business account and that this was a reasonable request to try as it would likely eliminate, or dramatically reduce, the sexually harassing messages she received.

In September 2023 Family First Life is alleged to have modified Tranghese’s employment contract, requiring her to attend their office six days per month.

Tranghese claims she agreed to the change “because she could not afford to lose the income from this job.”

On September 13, 2023, Plaintiff attended a meeting with Mr. Meade and Catherine Padia [sic], the Human Resources Business Partner. Ms. Padia was extremely condescending to Plaintiff and confrontational.

Ms. Padia repeatedly insisted that Plaintiff had to come to the office six days per month despite the fact that Plaintiff had already agreed to do so and informed Ms. Padia of this several times during the meeting.

Ms. Padia also insisted that Plaintiff had to use her personal social media for recruiting purposes.

Plaintiff again reiterated that she would use social media to recruit but that she was simply requesting that the accounts used be business accounts and not personal pages due to the sexual harassment she had received.

Ms. Padia stated that the company could not prevent sexual harassment from men, that using Plaintiff’s personal social media account was a job requirement and that no “concessions” would be granted on this point.

Ms. Padia then proceeded to terminate Plaintiff’s employment.

Tranghese claims Family First Life firing her was “unlawful”.

As a result of Defendants’ unlawful actions, Plaintiff has suffered damages including but not limited to lost past and future income, compensation, and benefits.

As a result of Defendants’ unlawful actions, Plaintiff experienced physical sickness including but not limited to headaches, stomach pains, and trouble sleeping, as well as emotional distress.

Defendants’ actions and inaction were particularly egregious and sufficient to warrant punitive damages in addition to all other damages available to Plaintiff.

Counts of action cited in Tranghese’s Compliant include sexual harassment and hostile work environment and retaliation. Both counts are brought under New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination.

Relief sought by Tranghese includes owed pay including benefits, compensatory damages, punitive damages, pre- and post-judgment interest and legal costs.

Family First Life filed its answer to Trenghese’s Complaint on March 18th.

An Initial Conference was held on May 9th. Another telephonic conference is scheduled for October 8th.