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12 feminine workers sue Cell County Sheriff’s Workplace over intercourse discrimination

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) – Twelve female correctional officers employed by the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) have brought sex discrimination charges with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The Department’s complaint filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama alleges that female correctional officers at MCSO have been regularly subjected to severe and ubiquitous sexual harassment by male inmates in the workplace. The complaint alleges that, despite the numerous reports from employees to MCSO supervisors that objected to the harassment, MCSO did not take the complaints seriously and did not take immediate and effective action to remedy this harassing behavior.

Read the full version below:

Unedited Justice Department press release

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department announced today that it has filed a lawsuit against the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office, Alabama’s second largest sheriff’s office, and the Mobile County Sheriff in its official capacity (collectively, MCSO).

The lawsuit alleges that MCSO discriminated current and former female proofreaders and other similar female employees on the basis of sex in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by exposing them to a sexually hostile work environment. Title VII is a federal law that prohibits discrimination in the workplace based on gender, race, skin color, national origin and religion.

The Department’s complaint filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama alleges that female correction officers at MCSO have been regularly subjected to severe and ubiquitous sexual harassment in the workplace by male inmates, who frequently expose their genitals, masturbate and direct sexual abuse , sexual suggestions, threats of sexual violence, and sexually degrading comments made against female employees. The complaint alleges that, despite the numerous reports from employees to MCSO supervisors that objected to the harassment, MCSO did not take the complaints seriously and did not take immediate and effective action to remedy this harassing behavior.

“Nobody deserves to be sexually harassed at work,” said Assistant Assistant Attorney General Pamela S. Karlan, Civil Rights Division. “The behavior these female employees have been subjected to is appalling, and the county’s failure to take steps to protect its employees from such behavior is inexcusable.”

Twelve female correctional officers employed by the MCSO have brought charges of gender discrimination with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC investigated the charges and found that there was reasonable grounds for believing that Title VII violations had occurred. After unsuccessful mediation efforts by the EEOC, the EEOC forwarded the charges to the Ministry of Justice.

Through this lawsuit, the United States is seeking financial relief for the affected workers and injunctive relief so that MCSO can develop and implement policies to prevent and eliminate future sexual harassment.

Today’s lawsuit is part of the Civil Rights Department’s initiative on sexual harassment at work announced in February 2018. The initiative aims to eradicate sexual harassment in state and local workplaces. Emphasis is placed on litigation, public relations and developing effective remedial measures to combat and prevent future discrimination and harassment based on sex.

The United States is represented on the case by senior litigators Taryn Wilgus Null, Alicia Johnson and Juliet Gray of the Civil Rights Division’s Labor Disputes Division.

For more information on Title VII and other federal labor laws, see the Civil Rights Division website at https://www.justice.gov/crt.

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