A Missouri Department of Corrections employee has won a $600,000 settlement from the state after she alleged male co-workers at two state prisons regularly harassed her.
The taxpayer-funded payout, approved in January, included just over $297,000 to prison caseworker Jennifer LaFleur and more than $303,000 to attorneys who worked on her case, which was filed in Jackson County in 2017.
The settlement, announced in a monthly report Monday by Attorney General Eric Schmitt, is the latest involving female state workers within the prison system. The lawsuit, said LaFleur was harassed while working at the Western Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center in St. Joseph and the Kansas City Re-Entry Center.
LaFleur said male coworkers called her sexually explicit names, commented on her body and asked for sex.
Due to the growing number of discrimination and harassment claims filed by female Corrections workers, the DOC established an Office of Professional Standards in 2017. DOC Director Anne Precythe said she was implementing a zero-tolerance policy for managers who failed to respond to misconduct allegations.
Taxpayers have shelled out more than $52 million to settle similar cases over the past six years.