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Intern Threatened By Boss in NJ Offered New Job From Asian American Founder

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    An intern who resisted threats by an executive director of non-profit Camden County Historical Society (CCHS) into doing work beyond her scope has just found a new company to work for.

    Leaked emails: Facebook user Nhu Tran published email exchanges showing how “Helen” (not her real name) responded to apparent bullying attempts by her boss Jack O’Byrne, NextShark reported earlier.

    • O’Byrne threatened to withhold parts of her pay and give negative feedback to a prospective employer if she did not satisfy his expectations. 
    • In response, Helen enumerated the ways the boss and the organization had been unfair to her as an intern.

    • She received an email from Collections and Preservation Director Joshua Lisowski, who apologized for the email exchange — with O’Byrne.
    • Disappointed that Lisowski responded for O’Byrne, Helen wrote back: “As a leader of a nonprofit CCHS, a professor at Rowan, and a caucasian man in a position of power, I thought you’d protect me. Instead you threatened my livelihood and career during a pandemic, knowing I’d be vulnerable. You knew what you were doing.”
    • In a statement to NextShark, O’Byrne referred to Helen as an independent contractor who “had one duty which was to download a software program and transfer it to our computers.” He claimed she “refused to transfer the work product, and demanded payment.”

    The aftermath: Following the story’s publication, Helen wrote O’Byrne to call him out “for his blatant lies,” Tran later revealed to NextShark.

    • “None of the things Jack said were true. Literally all lies,” Tran noted while sharing new email screenshots showing O’Byrne’s supposed apology and Helen’s response.


    • Upon learning about Helen’s plight, graphic design company Penji reached out to her to offer her an internship, an opportunity she has since accepted.
    • The Asian American entrepreneur who runs the company also offered to cover any legal fees that may have resulted from the incident. 
    • “Helen is a remarkably strong woman,” Penji CEO Khai Tran told NextShark. “Her story of being threatened and intimidated is, unfortunately, common. But her strength to fight back and conviction to seek justice is extraordinary. Young professionals, particularly Asian-Americans, can learn from her experience.”
    • Meanwhile, social media users have been calling out Camden County Historical Society and Rowan University, but neither has yet to release an official statement on the matter.

    Feature Image via PENJI.CO

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