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Former deputy wins sex harassment lawsuit against department

Although there are laws and, in many cases, company or organizational policies, in place that prohibit sexual harassment in the workplace, it occasionally occurs anyway. Regardless of whether it is verbal or physical, sex harassment, especially when unchecked by superiors, can result in a person leaving a job they care about and enjoy.

A woman reportedly turned in her sheriff’s deputy badge in September of 2012 after she claims she was the victim of harassment. The woman, who worked as a deputy with the Clay County Sheriff’s Department in Missouri, alleged that she was sexually harassed by several of her male co-workers. According to reports, the former deputy alleged that as many as eight detention officers and deputies with whom she worked made lewd comments and verbal, as well as physical, unwanted sexual advances towards her. Although, she claimed, that her supervisors ignored her complaints about the inappropriate behavior, an investigation was eventually conducted and resulted in the dismissal of at least four of the deputies who were allegedly involved.

Following her resignation, the woman reportedly filed a discrimination lawsuit against the department. A settlement was recently reached in the case; the woman was awarded $1.2 million for her sexual harassment claim. It was not reported, however, whether attorneys representing the two sides negotiated the terms of the settlement, or if it resulted from a judge’s ruling.

Among other things, federal and state laws ensure that no one has to endure a hostile working environment because of sexual harassment. If you have been the victim of harassment, it may be of benefit to consult with an experienced attorney. A lawyer can explain your options and offer advice on how best to proceed.

Source: Liberty Tribune, “Former deputy gets $1.2 million in sexual harassment settlement”, Ryne Dittmer, Sep. 26, 2013

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