Idaho Department of Corrections Found Not Liable for Sexual Assault Occurring Outside the Workplace

Erica Shelley Nelson and Brennen Johnson

factsIn Fuller v. Idaho Department of Corrections, a U.S. District Court granted summary judgment in favor of the Idaho Department of Corrections (IDOC), finding that it did not violate the rights of a former corrections officer. The female officer sued the IDOC, alleging sexual harassment and discrimination. Although the officer was assaulted and raped by a coworker, the IDOC was not liable when the assaults arose from the employees’ relationship outside the workplace and, upon learning of the incidents, the IDOC immediately began investigating the coworker, barred him from the premises, and ultimately recommended his termination.

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Inexplicable Flip-Flop: Park Ranger Gender Discrimination and Retaliation Charges Proper for Trial when Female Supervisor Decided to Fire Her Two Weeks after Her Sexual Harassment Complaint against Male Supervisor

By Mitchell Riese and Mitchel Wilson

flipIn Vicino v. Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland denied the defendant employer’s motion for summary judgment because the plaintiff park ranger had sufficiently alleged sexual discrimination. The Court determined that material facts for a jury existed and that summary judgment was improper.

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Court Dismisses Female Police Officer’s Sex-Based Discrimination Lawsuit Against Florida Police Department For Failing To Provide A Suitable Female Changing Room

By Erica Shelley Nelson and Brennen Johnson

Sexual-Harassment-DefenseIn Melendez v. Town of Bay Harbor Islands, a U.S. District Court dismissed a female police officer’s lawsuit for sex-based discrimination against the Police Department of Bay Harbor Islands, Florida. The Officer brought the lawsuit claiming that the Police Department engaged in sex-based discrimination by failing to provide suitable changing areas for female employees. In a summary judgment proceeding, the Court explained that the Officer failed to allege facts sufficient to show that any actions taken by the Police Department were motivated by sex-based discrimination. Although the Officer failed on her sex-based discrimination claim, the Court explained that the Police Department might still be liable for creating a hostile work environment towards women.

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Ninth Circuit Rejects San Francisco County’s BFOQ Defense for Policy Excluding Male Corrections Officers from Supervising Female Inmates

By Erica Shelley Nelson

prison (1)In Anderson v. City & Cnty. of San Francisco, the Ninth Circuit reversed the granting of summary judgment to the San Francisco County on claims of sex discrimination, in its jail staffing policies. The court held that the County was unable to meet its burden in demonstrating that it was entitled to a “bona fide occupational qualification” (BFOQ) defense for a policy that excluded male corrections deputies from supervising female inmates.

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Demotion of North Carolina Female Detention Officer for Violation of Unwritten Policy Forbidding Presence of Opposite Sex While Inmates Shower

By Kasey Burton

Unwritten-Rules-HeaderIn Gethers v. Harrison, the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of North Carolina held that a sheriff’s office did not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of gender when it demoted a female detention officer. The female officer refused to leave the bathroom area while a male inmate was showering. Two other male officers were present, and the inmate was no longer agitated or presenting any sort of threat.  Consequently, the female officer’s presence was determined unnecessary and inappropriate.  During the course of the investigation following the demotion, the Sheriff concluded that Gethers was not truthful and subsequently terminated her on that basis.

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Four Times is Not a Charm: Despite Four Multiple Complaints, Cook County Corrections Sergeant’s Gender Discrimination and Hostile Work Environment Claims Not Trial Worthy

By Mitchel Wilson

ComplaintIn Mercer v. Cook County, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, (in an unpublished opinion) upheld the trial court’s decision to dismiss Corrections Sergeant Pamela Mercer’s claims of Gender Discrimination and Hostile Work Environment.  It agreed with the lower court because Mercer could not show the conduct directed at her was because of gender and her transfer was not an adverse employer action and the incidents cited were not severe/pervasive enough to alter the Officer’s working conditions. [Read more…]

Deceptive Illinois County Sheriff Seeking to “Give the Boys a Chance” to be K-9 Officers Uses Toy-Coyote-Decoy to Unsuccessfully Disguise Gender Discrimination

By Mitchel Wilson

Men Only SignIn Aldridge v. Lake Cnty. Sheriff’s Office, an Illinois federal trial court dismissed the Lake County’s motion for summary judgment and permitted a female deputy’s gender discrimination claims to go to trial.   The Court concluded, the various evidence including the statements that the Sheriff “wanted to give the boys a chance” at the K-9 assignment, was enough to demonstrate a viable discrimination claim.

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Fifth Circuit Holds that Problem Dallas County Juvenile Officer Not Protected from Termination

By David Worley

TerminationIn Stokes v. Dallas County Juvenile Dep’t, 20, WH Cases 2d 327 (5th Cir. 2013) the Fifth Circuit Federal Court  of Appeals upheld summary judgment on retaliation claims under both Title VII and the FMLA when the plaintiff could indicate no connection between her termination and the activities protected by both those statutes. Further the employer provided substantial evidence supporting the termination of the plaintiff, including numerous instances of poor performance that resulted in discipline. Although the plaintiff could make a prima facie case regarding the FMLA claim (but not the Title VII claim), the court nevertheless found summary judgement was proper when no reasonable person could find that discrimination had occurred.  [Read more…]

Female Officer Defeats the Philadelphia PD’s Motion to Dismiss by “Sufficiently Alleged Severe and Regular Acts of Harassment” Including being Called “Spankasaurus”

By Anthony Rice

Name CallingIn Salvato v. Smith, the court denied the City’s motion to dismiss a female police officer’s harassment claim. The court found the Officer successfully alleged her superior officers’ behavior was “sufficiently severe or pervasive” enough to alter the conditions of her employment. The court found the Officer’s Complaint was brimming with allegations regarding the hostile conduct she suffered, including: [Read more…]

Same-Sex Gender Discrimination Equally Unlawful: Court Denies Female Police Chief’s Motion to Dismiss a Gender Discrimination Claim Filed by Her Subordinate Female Officer Over Her “Chick Cop” Remarks

By Anthony Rice

LawIn Parrott v. Krasicky, the court denied a female police chief’s motion to dismiss a female police officer’s gender discrimination claim based on a hostile work environment.

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