United States v. Mobile County Sheriff
In March 2021, the United States sued the Mobile County Sheriff. The United States’ lawsuit alleged that since at least 2011, male inmates have sexually harassed female employees who work in the housing units at the Mobile County Metro Jail. The United States alleged that the inmates’ behavior created a hostile work environment as that term is defined by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and that the Sheriff did not take immediate and appropriate actions to respond to the harassment.
On April 21, 2023, the Parties filed a proposed Settlement Agreement that, if approved by the Court, will resolve all claims in this lawsuit. The Court will hold a fairness hearing on the terms of the Settlement Agreement on August 25, 2023. After that hearing, the Court will decide whether to approve the settlement.
In the Settlement Agreement, the Sheriff agreed to pay $2.02 million in compensatory damages to women who worked as corrections officers or corporals at the Metro Jail between January 1, 2011 and April 21, 2023. Also, the Sheriff agreed to take action to remedy the alleged discrimination at the Metro Jail. This includes:
- developing policies to ensure that all inmates and employees know the types of behaviors that are sexual misconduct and the consequences for these behaviors;
- holding training for all inmates and employees to tell them about new policies on sexual misconduct and make sure that everyone can use the available tools and systems to address sexual misconduct; and
- making changes to the work environment to help prevent sexual misconduct toward Jail employees, like appointing a dedicated sexual misconduct coordinator and having a dedicated housing area for certain offenders.
Visit the settlement website for more information about the proposed settlement, including how to object to the terms of the Settlement Agreement and to learn more about how and when the money will be distributed.