Inmate Sexual Harassment Class Action Against the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Federal Correctional Complex in Coleman, Florida
The Administrative Judge has preliminarily approved the settlement of this class action alleging that the Federal Bureau of Prisons, FCC Coleman failed to take adequate measures to prevent male inmates from sexually harassing female employees. This website contains important information about the settlement agreement, including a link to an electronic version of the Claim Form that class members must complete by May 10, 2017 to receive a monetary award.
More information about the monetary relief in the settlement agreement can be found under the Posts tab above or by clicking HERE.
More information about the programmatic relief in the settlement agreement can be found under the Posts tab above or by clicking HERE.
More information about Class Counsel can be found by clicking HERE.
This website will be updated as new developments warrant.
WHO IS INCLUDED IN THE CASE?
The case covers all women who worked at FCC Coleman at any point in time between February 6, 2011, and January 17, 2017, with the exception of the following positions: Warden, Associate Warden, Disciplinary Hearing Officer, Executive Assistant, Camp Assistant, Lieutenant, Captain, UNICOR, and Computer Services.
If you have any questions about whether you are included in the case, there are two important things to keep in mind:
(1) Women who held the positions of Warden, Associate Warden, DHO, Executive Assistant, Camp Assistant, Lieutenant, Captain, UNICOR, and Computer Services are still included in the case if they also held any other position at FCC Coleman at any time between February 6, 2011 and January 17, 2017.
(2) If you worked at FCC Coleman between February 6, 2011 and January 17, 2017, you are part of the case and you should take into consideration ALL of the inmate harassment and all of the harm experienced going back as far as April 17, 2001 when filling out the claims form.
For example, a woman who was a correctional officer at FCC Coleman from January 1, 2002 until June 23, 2014 when she was promoted to lieutenant is part of the case because she worked in a position covered by the settlement for some time between February 6, 2011 and January 17, 2017. This class member should take into consideration all of the harassment and harm she suffered from the date she started at FCC Coleman on January 1, 2002 until she was promoted to lieutenant on June 23, 2014 when filling out her claim form.
If you are covered by the class definition, you should receive an email and an envelope mailed on February 9, 2017, that contains a Notice explaining the settlement and a Claim Form that must be submitted by May 10, 2017 in order to qualify to receive a monetary award. We strongly encourage class members to fill out the Claim Form online. You can access the Claim Form by clicking HERE.
Please contact the attorneys representing the class if you have any questions or believe that you are a member of the class but did not receive the email or mailing.
The Judge preliminarily approved the settlement on January 17, 2017. She will not decide whether to finally approve the settlement until later this year.
In her preliminary approval decision, the Judge described the amount that the Agency had agreed to pay to settle the claims – up to $20 million – as “a very reasonable figure for non-pecuniary compensatory damage claims.” Click HERE to see a comparison of the settlement amount in this case to settlements in other sex discrimination class cases.
As to the programmatic relief, the Judge stated:
The programmatic relief portion of the settlement agreement is impressive by any standard, and the parties are to be commended for their willingness to work on such an elaborate plan to make improvements to the Coleman prison system in mitigating inmate sexual harassment. It includes provisions that the undersigned in all likelihood could not even order if the Class prevailed in this case . . . The programmatic relief portion of the agreement evinces intent to make real changes for the better at the Agency.
If you would like to see the full text of the Order, you can access it by the document image above.
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