A female prison guard at the Maine State Prison was subject to harassment and a “hostile environment,” according to the Maine Human Rights Commission.
During a Jan. 11 meeting, the commissioners voted 2-1 that there were reasonable grounds to believe that the guard was harassed and discriminated against because she was a woman, according to the meeting minutes.
The woman, who began working at the prison in 2017 and filed her complaint in 2019, was subject to her male colleagues’ comments about their “low opinions” of women and was made to work in a pod where she was subject to prisoners’ “pervasive” sex-based comments, despite being previously removed from that unit by a sergeant for that reason, the Courier Gazette reported.
She was asked whether she took the job at the prison “for a lawsuit or to fall in love,” and after a disagreement with three male colleagues, one of them filed a complaint alleging she was “overly familiar” with inmates, according to the newspaper.
The commission’s investigation found that the Maine State Prison and Maine Department of Corrections “did nothing” to stop the harassment and even disciplined her “more harshly” than male guards, the Gazette reported.
The commission wants both sides to reach a settlement, otherwise the complaint could go to court, according to the newspaper.