There is no doubt that being a correctional officer is one of the more challenging jobs there is. Officers are placed around dangerous and even deadly inmates that have been incarcerated for various crimes. One of the most important things for officers to do when working in such a place is ensure their team, or the other staff members, are all working together to ensure that no one gets hurt or is placed in a compromising position. Unfortunately, some of the correctional officers employed in two prisons managed by a South Florida company, The Geo Group, located in Arizona were recognized for sexual misconduct. [Source: Sun-Sentinel].

Back in 2010, 16 women alleged that they were sexually harassed while employed at the Central Arizona Correctional Facility and Arizona State Prison-Florence West facility. The lawsuit stated that “a male manager grabbed the breasts and crotch of a female correctional officer” and another male forced a female worker on a desk and kissed her. Male officers were also accused of asking female officers for sex as well as supervisors and other officers making sexually explicit comments to the female officers.

The lawsuit came about after the women claimed GEO retaliated against them when they complained about the harassment. Rather than receive the help they were seeking, some were forced to quit, some were fired, and others were even placed in unsafe conditions in the prison. Given that the officers retaliated in such a way, many of these women likely felt obligated to just leave as working in a prison is already dangerous enough and without the support from officers and supervisors, anything could happen inside one of these facilities.

The Ruling was in Favor of the Sexual Harassment Victims

Although the sexual harassment lawsuit was filed years ago, it finally reached a verdict and the $550,000 was divided among the 16 women who came forward. GEO, which also operates prisons in Deerfield Beach, South Bay, Moore Haven, Panama City, Graceville, and Milton, is required to review its equal employment opportunity policies to be certain complaints of sexual harassment and retaliation are “immediately and thoroughly investigated.” GEO must also:

  1. Designate certain alleged harassers as ineligible for rehire. This has been a recurring issue as many harassers have been able to leave one job and simply go onto the next, even after they engaged in an act of sexual misconduct.
  2. Post notices of the consent decree in its Florence facilities.
  3. Conduct anti-discrimination training.

Although it took some time for a settlement to be reached in this case, these women can feel confident in knowing justice has finally been served. It isn’t fair for an employee to be subjected to unsafe working conditions and it is an employer’s duty to be sure their workers are never placed in such an environment.

Sadly, this still occurs which is why USAttorneys.com suggests you contact them today if you are the victim of sexual harassment. Rather than try to come up with ways to address the issue on your own, why not allow a knowledgeable sexual harassment attorney in Fort Lauderdale, FL provide you with the support and assistance you need. It can be intimidating and even a bit scary to file a complaint against a boss or supervisor which is why you may want to consider letting an attorney help you.

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