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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit finds a “severely sexualized climate” at the Pendleton state prison.

The ILB highlighted this opinion yesterday, a reversal of a SD Ind. ruling. Today Tim Evans reports for the Indianapolis Star in a long story that begins:

When a female counselor at Pendleton Correctional Facility complained that some one was using her desk at night, an internal investigation quickly uncovered the truth.

Prison employees working the night shift were having sex on the woman’s desk.

But when the counselor asked the prison’s internal affairs investigator what should be done about the discovery, she was in for yet another surprise.

“I suggest,” the investigator told the counselor, “you wash off your desk every day.”

The exchange is among details in a federal lawsuit filed by the counselor, who, ironically, was fired in 2010 for having sex with a Department of Correction employee on his desk at the prison about 60 miles east of Indianapolis.

In a ruling Monday, a three-judge federal appeals court panel said a district judge in Indiana was wrong to dismiss the discrimination and hostile work environment claims leveled by Connie J. Orton-Bell in connection with her dismissal. The ruling notes a “severely sexualized climate” at the state prison.

The order handed down by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals panel details the atmosphere inside the prison as “saturated” with sexual comments aimed at female employees and a don’t-ask-don’t-tell attitude toward workers having sex on the job.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on July 23, 2014 09:00 AM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions