No employee in Los Angeles should be forced to work in an environment that is dangerous due to an employer's refusal to implement changes that could make the workplace safer and more tolerable for its employees. Employers throughout the entire country have a responsibility to protect workers' rights, which means employers also have a responsibility to create and maintain safe workplaces.
After working at maximum security prison for 10 years, a female correctional officer has decided to file a lawsuit against her employer for subjecting her to countless incidents of sexual harassment at work. The woman's lawsuit claims that inmates had sexually harassed her for years and her employer did nothing to try to stop the harassment, even when the employee offered suggestions for resolving the problem.
The woman's lawsuit blames her employer for making her work in an environment that jeopardized her safety. According to the lawsuit, which was filed in Iowa, the correctional officer began working at the prison in 2003. Inmates at the prison included murderers, mentally ill criminals and sexual predators. After starting her job at the prison, the officer became concerned about some of the movies and television shows inmates had been allowed to watch at the facility. The officer said that some of the shows were violent, graphic and sexually explicit. As a result of watching these shows, inmates would frequently harass the female officer.
In an effort to put an end to the sexual harassment, the officer voiced her concerns about the types of shows inmates were allowed to watch, asking that violent and sexually explicit movies be banned at the facility. For several years the employee's complaints went ignored and she continued to be harassed by inmates.
In 2011, the facility finally barred violent and sexually explicit movies, the lawsuit states. However, this angered inmates and the employee was subjected to more harassment. The woman's lawsuit claims that she was even blamed for causing inmates to harass her at work.
The officer is seeking compensation for damages. She claims that workers retaliated and discriminated against her for complaining about sexual harassment in the workplace.
Source: The Associated Press, "At Iowa prison, female officer says inmates harassed her after watching violent & sexually graphic movies," Jan. 7, 2013
Our Los Angeles / Long Beach employment law firm handles a wide variety of sexual harassment and hostile work environment claims. To learn more about employee rights and our firm, please visit our Long Beach sexual harassment lawyer page.