The U.S. Department of Justice has reached a settlement with an Alabama sheriff in a sexual harassment suit involving female corrections officers at an Alabama jail.
The sheriff for Mobile County, Alabama has agreed to a $2 million settlement to resolve a DOJ lawsuit that claimed inmates at the Mobile County Metro Jail were allowed to sexually harass and assault female corrections officers.
A DOJ statement said the officers alleged they were "regularly subjected to severe and pervasive sexual harassment in the workplace by male inmates."
The DOJ says female officers made multiple reports about the harassing behavior to jail leadership but accused the sheriff of not properly considering the complaints or taking action to stop the harassment.
The complaints included accusations that male inmates would "frequently" expose their genitals and make sexual slurs or threaten sexual violence.
Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke said, "Just like any other workplace, jails must take steps necessary to ensure that female employees are not subject to a sexually hostile work environment in any form."
If the settlement agreement is given court approval the Alabama sheriff will be ordered to pay $2.02 million into a fund to be used to compensate the women who said they were harassed or harmed.
The sheriff will also be potentially required to develop an inmate sexual misconduct policy and better train jail employees on the policy.
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