The operators of the Crowley County Correctional Facility, a privately-operated Colorado prison, have agreed to pay $1.3 million to settle a sexually hostile work environment and retaliation lawsuit filed by the EEOC on behalf of 21 female former prison employees.
The allegations that were filed against the prison operators, Dominion Correctional Services, LLC and Corrections Corporation of America, included a charge that a female corrections officer was coerced first into performing oral sex, and later intercourse, with a male captain, for fear of losing her job.
In another instance, a female officer made a sexual harassment complaint against a male coworker. This officer was subsequently assigned to an isolated prison gate, where she was raped by the man about whom she had complained.
The EEOC claims that women who complained about the sexually hostile workplace faced retaliation, including “assigning them to the worst and most dangerous work assignments” at the prison.
“The conduct alleged here is reprehensible,” said EEOC regional attorney Mary Jo O’Neill. “In a profession already fraught with the danger of dealing with prison inmates, it is inexcusable that another layer of fear was imposed by the men to whom these women reported and with whom they worked.”