A federal appeals court has revived a lawsuit filed by a former Indiana prison counselor who alleges that she was discriminated against and was forced to work in a hostile, sexually-charged environment. The three-judge panel said a district judge was wrong to dismiss the suit, according to USA Today.
Connie Orton-Bell was reportedly fired from her job as a contract worker in 2010 for having sex with Maj. Joe Ditmer on his desk at the Pendleton Correctional Facility. Ditmer, reports USA Today, had worked for the Department of Corrections for 25 years. He was also released from his position.
However, Orton-Bell claims in her lawsuit that the two were treated very differently in the administrative appeals process. While Ditmer was permitted to resign in good standing and keep working at the prison as a contractor, Orton-Bell's requests for similar allowances were denied.
She further claims that the atmosphere among prison employees was sexually-charged to the point of being hostile. Orton-Bell says that when she discovered night shift employees had been having sex on her desk, an internal affairs investigator told her to wash down her desk every morning.
"This is a max(imum) security prison," the investigator said, according to the suit. "Staff having sex is of no concern to us."
Orton-Bell's suit will now return to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.
If you believe that you were unfairly dismissed from your job and/or have been the victim of discrimination and/or a hostile work, you may be entitled to seek civil damages. You should contact the employment discrimination lawyers at The Meyers Law Firm as soon as possible. We can assess your claim and help you recover any damages that you may deserve.