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Harassment By Prisoners Cannot Create a Hostile Work Environment

Evidence that the plaintiff ex-prison employee "cried a lot" and the inmates and co-workers "got on her nerves" do not establish that she has a disability; she may have been depressed or anxious but submitted no medical evidence or evidence that they limited her ability to work. Nor did she show that her employer had notice of the disability.

The actions of prisoners cannot establish a sexually hostile working environment under Title VII "as long as the defendant institution took proper preventive and remedial steps with regard to inmate behavior." (1017) Id.: "... [A]nyone who works at a prison, particularly in a position with frequent inmate contact, must expect some off-color interactions. Prison employees inherently assume the risk of some rude inmates." The prison maintained appropriate policies for dealing with them. Similarly, the presence of sex offenders in a prison environment is "unremarkable" and does not alter an employee's working conditions as required for a Title VII claim.

Summary judgment is denied with respect to claims of supervisor harassment. See: Powell v. Morris, 37 F.Supp.2d 1011 (S.D.Ohio 1999).

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Related legal case

Powell v. Morris