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State settles sexual harassment lawsuit for $1.3 million

It was recently reported that a state government paid millions of dollars over a 30-year period to settle sexual harassment claims.

The news came from Florida, where more than $11 million in sexual-harassment settlements was paid for more than 300 cases dating back to 1987.

The cases included:

  • $1.3 million to settle a class-action lawsuit brought by nurses who worked at state prisons.
  • $129,000 for a female employee at the Florida Department of Health. In this case, the employee claimed that her supervisor would describe his sexual activities and would comment on the employee's body.
  • $5,500 to a Florida State University student who alleged harassment by a work supervisor.

Florida isn't the only state government that has faced recent scandal. Sexual harassment accusations have arisen in many states, including Missouri. Other states include: California, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Washington.

Missouri sexual-harassment statistics

The state-government cases highlight the fact that, despite being illegal for more than 50 years, sexual discrimination continues to be a massive societal issue.

Here are the number of Missouri sexual-discrimination charges filed with the EEOC since 2009:

2009: 737

2010: 680

2011: 717

2012: 660

2013: 577

2014: 607

2015: 611

2016: 646

The statistics for 2017 haven't been released yet. With the momentum and exposure of the #metoo movement, it will be interesting to see if the number of cases has changed dramatically.

Signs of workplace sexual harassment

Sexual harassment often is subtle, and victims can be uncertain if what they're experiencing is harassment. Here are signs you're being sexually harassed at work.

  • You experience behavior that makes you uncomfortable
  • You aren't able to make the behavior stop
  • You feel pressured to go along with the behavior
  • You do not feel empowered to make a complaint
  • You fear retaliation if you make a complaint

If you have questions about sexual harassment in the workplace, contact an attorney who focuses on this area of the law.

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