Teens Harassed in Prison

Sexual harassment attorneys say that as per the US Bureau of Justice Statistics, about 2 percent of teenagers, both male and female, were subjected to sexual harassment in jails and prisons by other inmates in 2011, with the percentage of teens harassed by the prison staff being even higher.

In Michigan, where teens are charged just like adults for serious crimes as they should be, there have been allegations of sexual assault in prisons from Marquette in the Upper Peninsula to Gus Harrison in southern Michigan. Many inmates under the age of 18 have filed a lawsuit against the Corrections Department, claiming that they were forced to engage in sexual acts with adult fellow prisoners and staff. Attorney Deborah LaBelle said that the teens were forced to shower, eat, and work with adults in the prisons.

Judge Declares Class Action Case

In 2009, a $100 million was awarded to settle a lawsuit in the Washtenaw County court where many female prisoners had alleged they were assaulted and harassed by male guards. In the wake of increasing allegations and lawsuits, the case was turned into a class action lawsuit by Judge Carol Kuhnke. Many more inmates have now contacted sexual harassment attorneys, since such harassment has been declared as a violation of civil rights by the judge.

The spokesman for the Corrections Department, Chris Gautz said that they were confident that the allegations in these lawsuits were not true. Assistant Attorney General Mark Donnelly said that the department was not liable for injuries resulting from assault or harassment in the prisons, just because the inmates were in their custody, adding that such incidents were inherent risks of being incarcerated.

Starbucks Faces Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

Starbucks is facing a sexual harassment lawsuit from former employee, Paige Serrano. The plaintiff said she was working in the morning shift between 4:30 to 8:30 when things changed after a new manager arrived on the scene. She alleges in the lawsuit that the new manager started making inappropriate remarks, demeaning her. Referring to her as retarded, the manager asked her if she had ever taken special education classes, Serrano said in the lawsuit.

Starbucks is not perfect either.

The lawsuit also alleges that the manager physically abused her, by grabbing her arm and forcefully restraining her. She then read the employee handbook and called up the corporate office to offer up a complaint against the manager, and also asked them to check the surveillance video for proof, but the office deleted the video, according to Serrano.

The district manager, who Serrano made an appointment with to discuss her concerns, did not turn up for any of the meetings, while the corporate office called her back to say that because there was no evidence, they were closing the case, according to the plaintiff. Serrano’s employment was terminated two months after she complained. The sexual harassment attorney for Serrano said that his client was targeted because of her gender.  The lawsuit filed by Serrano alleges sexual harassment and wrongful termination.