Federal Judge Allows Will County Jail Sexual Harassment Case To Go Forward
Posted on March 11, 2012 by Eugene Hollander
A recent ruling by a federal judge permits a former Will County correctional officer to pursue her sexual harassment
case to proceed against the County. The Plaintiff, Marlis O'Leary, worked at the Will County Jail from 2006 to 2007. She alleged that male co-workers frequently viewed pornography and maintained an offensive "Book of Shame." The Book of Shame allegedly was created among the male correctional officers to see who could first sleep with the Plaintiff. O'Leary claimed that Lt. Marty Shifflet, a former Will County deputy chief condoned the pornographic activity. In court papers, the sheriff's office says that the book was simply a "photo album containing humorous booking photos of men and women alike." The federal judge held that there was enough of a claim so that a jury could determine "whether the atmosphere at the (jail) was permeated with incessant unwelcome sexual advances."
The Plaintiff's attorney stated that six other female correctional officers complained about being sexually harassed at the jail. The County maintains that O'Leary left her employment after suffering from a nervous breakdown involving an alleged inmate fight. O'Leary disputed that. The case will either proceed to trial in the near future or settle. When The Law Offices of Eugene K. Hollander represents clients in these kinds of cases, we advise our clients to maintain logs or diaries of all of the untoward conduct, including names, dates, and corroborating witnesses.