Alaska State Employee Sues Over Sexual Harassment

A state employee, Toni Prins, sued the state of Alaska for $19 million on January 9th. She filed the lawsuit in Anchorage’s federal court asserting that a co-worker sexually harassed her and physically injured her. She has also asserted that the accused gave her poor performance reviews when she filed a formal complaint in June 2016.

Kenai Juvenile Justice Worker Files A Lawsuit

The lawsuit asserts that Toni Pris was the recipient of unwanted sexual advances from her supervisor in April 2016. When Prins complained to another supervisor, her performance reviews were given a poor rating. The state never took any immediate action on the situation despite repeated complaints.

Prins’ supervisor also allegedly injured her during a safe restraint training session as per the complaint. When Prins was transferred over to a new supervisor, her performance scores improved significantly. According to a filing from the state, the performance review was stated to speak for itself.

Prins Asking For $19 Million in Damages

As per a description written by Prins’ attorney, the Alaska State Commission on Human Rights investigated the complaint to determine that Prins was subject of workplace discrimination and that the injury was retaliatory in nature. Many people believe if she was she certainly does not deserve to be a multi-millionaire.

The Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, on the basis of the investigation, issued a “right to sue” letter. However, the validity of claim is being denied by the state of Alaska. The state has requested the court to dismiss the complaint and award attorney fees.

The state’s pleading claims the human rights commission’s investigation to clearly show that Prins’ account of the events was not the complete truth. However, Assistant Attorney General, Maria Bahr, declined to provide a copy of the investigation’s findings, claiming the document is confidential and available to claimant and respondent only.

Protecting Rights of Sexual Harassment Victims

Sexual harassment can be in many forms and it is imperative for a victim to know and fight for their rights. Experienced sexual harassment attorneys can help navigate a lawsuit. Common workplace sexual harassment is of the following types:

  • Sexual assault
  • Quid pro quo sexual harassment
  • Unwelcome sexual advances
  • Unlawful touching
  • Sexist words, language, or behavior
  • Threats and undue attention
  • Sexual coercion or intimidation
  • Offensive slurs, jokes, objects, or pictures
  • Retaliation and wrongful termination
  • Hostile work environment

Damages awarded can be extensive depending upon the victim’s position in the organization. This makes it necessary to retain a knowledgeable and skilled sexual harassment lawyer. Damages in sexual harassment lawsuits can include compensation for lost earning capacity, lost wages and benefits, lost employment opportunity, emotional distress, medical expenses, and injury to reputation.

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