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Wisconsin settled harassment claims, but kept supervisor on job

Last year, Wisconsin officials agreed to settle claims by a female state prison employee who said her supervisor kissed her, mistreated her and then fired her. The state then allowed the Racine Correctional Institution supervisor to stay in her job.

Several other women who worked there also lodged complaints about the supervisor, alleging that they endured sexual harassment, and in some cases, suffered retaliation for reporting the harassment, according to documents filed in federal court in Milwaukee.

An internal investigation, as well as a review by the federal government's Equal Employment Opportunities Commission both determined that sexual harassment took place at the prison.

The lawsuit was settled for $55,000, according to a news article.

Despite the allegations and investigations' findings, the supervisor is still working for the state, now in a similar position at a nearby prison. She is paid $97,500 annually.

The woman who sued is barred by the terms of the settlement from working at a Wisconsin prison. The phlebotomist is apparently having trouble finding a new position in her field.

"I got more respect from the gentlemen there than from my boss,” the woman said of the inmates. She added that she didn't sue to get money, but rather to put a stop to inappropriate behavior and to hold her supervisor "accountable for what she did.”

It's not easy to hold people in positions of power accountable, but it can be done with the help of an attorney experienced in employment law litigation. Contact Alan C. Olson & Associates for more information.

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