A nurse who was contracted to treat inmates in a Florida jail is now suing Sarasota County and several deputies, claiming that they created a hostile work environment when they distributed sexually explicit drawings of her around the correctional facility. She alleges that the sexual harassment began in the autumn of 2012 and continued until she terminated her position with Armor Correctional Health Services on Jan. 17. The plaintiff claims that she was embarrassed enough by the sexual harassment she experienced that she had to consider leaving her job.
According to reports, a deputy at the jail supplied an inmate with pornographic materials. The inmate then made pencil sketches based on the materials, replacing the models' faces with the plaintiff's face. The sketches were then purportedly photocopied and distributed among staff members, who proceeded to harass the plaintiff about them.
The suit also claims that the plaintiff had several uncomfortable encounters with the aforementioned inmate in which he made suggestive comments. When she tried to enlist the help of deputies during these encounters, they refused to come to her aid. Instead, she alleges that they reprimanded her instead of him and accused her of encouraging his advances.
The woman seeks an unspecified amount in damages. This case demonstrates the potential consequences of working in a hostile work environment and being subjected to unwelcome behavior by co-workers. Anyone in a similar situation may find it helpful to seek advice from someone with knowledge of Florida's employment laws. Filing a suit against the employer may send a clear message that workplace harassment will not be tolerated.
Source: HeraldTribune.com, Former Sarasota jail nurse claims harassment, Elizabeth Johnson, Nov. 30, 2013