Lexington, KY– The sexual harassment scandal involving two Kentucky state legislators has culminated two separate lawsuits seeking compensation on behalf of three women who say they were harassed and then retaliated against. Both lawsuits were filed Monday.

In one of the lawsuits, Cassandra Cooper and Yolando Costner allege that Rep. John Arnold touched them inappropriately and subjected them to unwanted sexual comments. One of the incidents was allegedly witnessed by a Rep. Reginald Meeks who condemned Arnold for his behavior. The lawsuit also alleges that once they both reported Rep. Arnold to supervisors in Legislative Research Committee no action was taken to stop the harassment.

Cooper’s and Costner’s lawsuit also alleges a violation of the Kentucky Wages and Hours Act, stating they were only paid for 37 ½ hours when they worked 40 hours of more, according to the Louisville Courier Journal.

The lawsuit named Rep. Arnold, House Speaker Greg Stumbo and the Legislative Research Commission as defendants in the case.

A third woman recently came forward alleging Arnold sexually harassed her, but it is unclear if she plans to file a lawsuit.

Rep. Arnold recently resigned from the legislature and claimed no wrong-doing. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Arnold said in his resignation letter that he had been “’destroyed politically’ and could no longer be an effective voice for his constituents.”

The second lawsuit was filed by Nicole Cusic accuses Rep. Will Coursey of sexually harassing interns and other employees of the Legislative Research Committee. Cusic also alleges that she was subjected to retaliation when she spoke up about the Coursey’s behavior; she was transferred to another office and was given no say about the move.

Cusic’s lawsuit names Coursey, the Legislative Research Committee and former LRC director Bobby Sherman as defendants.

Coursey has denied the allegations.

Both scandals have enmeshed House Speaker Greg Stumbo and former LRC director Bobby Sherman and have given rise to allegations that both men took actions to cover up sexual harassment allegations. The Louisville Courier reported that after Sherman resigned, he returned to his office and shredded documents though it is unclear of those documents related to sexual harassment allegations.

All three women are being represented by Louisville attorney Thomas Gray who said they will be seeking a jury trial. They are also asking for an unspecified amount of compensation.

These allegations have left some to wonder if the culture in the Capitol Annex has created an environment where sexual harassment is allowed to persist.

Kentucky lawmakers have taken some actions to prevent future harassment. Last month, lawmakers voted to make sexual harassment training mandatory for elected officials. Employees of the Legislative Research Committee are required to undergo yearly harassment training.

The lawsuits are not the end of the sexual harassment saga of the Kentucky legislature but it will hopefully spotlight the importance of protecting employees from a hostile work environment by disciplining a harasser before the problem gets out of hand.