Corrections Department Settles Sex Discrimination Suit

The state corrections department will pay a prison cook $50,000 to settle allegations he was sexually harassed by a female co-worker, Los Angeles prosecutors said Wednesday.

The discrimination complaint brought by the U.S. Justice Department against the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation alleged that Joe Cummings was sexually harassed, and the department failed to deal with the problem.

According to the complaint filed last year in Los Angeles federal court, Cumming's co-worker made frequent unwanted physical and verbal sexual advances for more than a year.

Although Cummings and others complained numerous times to CDCR supervisors, the department failed to take action, in violation of federal law and the department's own policy, according to the DOJ.

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, which must be approved by a judge, CDCR will pay Cummings $50,000 in compensatory damages and restore the time off he used to  avoid the alleged harasser.

CDCR must also maintain appropriate anti-harassment and anti-retaliation policies and procedures. In addition, the department must provide appropriate training for its personnel on these policies and procedures.

—City News Service


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