Friday, April 20, 2012

Library Sexual Harassment Law Suit Settles

Days away from trial, another library sexual harassment suit has been settled:

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama --  A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit filed by a former librarian who claimed Birmingham's downtown public library was a sexually hostile place to work, with some patrons openly viewing pornography on computers, groping her and performing lewd acts in front of staff or other patrons, including children.

The trial in the federal lawsuit filed by Barbara Ann Wilson in September 2010 was to have begun on Monday before U.S. District Court Judge Karon O. Bowdre. 

Bowdre, at 12:33 p.m. today issued a brief order dismissing the case after learning of a settlement.  

But Adam Morel, the attorney for Wilson, said today that a settlement had been reached in the case. He declined to discuss details and whether the settlement included any money.  

Officials and lawyers for Birmingham have not yet responded to questions posed by The Birmingham News.

But the city and library have denied the allegations. 

Wilson, who began work with the library in 2002, claimed in the lawsuit that the City of Birmingham and the Birmingham Library Board had not done enough to protect her from a hostile work environment. Since November 2010 she is no longer employed by the library. 

Among her claims, Wilson stated that she had been subjected to sexually aggressive comments, inappropriate touching and other sexual conduct by certain library patrons. She claimed that a number of times when she tried to confront patrons looking at obscene material they became belligerent. 

A jury trial, however, remains set for Feb. 11, 2013, before U.S. District Court Judge Scott Coogler in a similar federal lawsuit filed by another library employee in July 2011. 

In that lawsuit, Karen Jackson, a supervisor at the library, claims she has been ''subjected to severe and pervasive sexually charged conduct by both library patrons and certain members of the library's male staff, including security staff.''

Among her claims are that library patrons are ''routinely'' allowed to view pornographic images in library computers, often in the presence of children. Patrons also perform lewd acts, including in the youth department, and in one case a patron made advances on her and grabbed her arm, according to the lawsuit. 


In my opinion, the suit settled because the library knew it would lose, having made statements like, "If you don't like it, leave."  If a librarian doesn't like being sexually harassed by people acting under an unlimited porn policy, she should leave?  Just like in another case:

I had previously written about or mentioned the Birmingham case often:
Lastly, let me say that at no time did the American Library Association [ALA] ever support any of the victims.  I surmise this is because it is the ALA anything-goes policy that contributed to the harassment in the first place.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments of a personal nature, trolling, and linkspam may be removed.