November 25, 2017

Minneapolis PL Staffers File Suit Over Porn Exposure

By LJ Staff

After filing a “hostile environment” sexual harassment claim regarding exposure to patrons’ porn surfing and seeing mediation proposed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) go nowhere, 12 staffers at the Minneapolis Public Library filed a federal lawsuit against the library March 24. The EEOC in 2001 found probable cause of a violation and proposed $75,000 payments to the staffers. The library favored nonmonetary dialog. After the Justice Department decided earlier this year not to sue on behalf of the staffers, they filed suit privately. Why didn’t the Justice Department act? Plaintiff Wendy Adamson said, “In the letter we each received from the Justice Department, their attorney Keisha Bell said the decision had no relationship to the merits of our case.”

The suit calls for damages of $450,000 each, plus workplace changes, according to local press reports. The suit states that the changes made by the library after the 2000 EEOC complaint–including time limits for Internet use and new effort by security guards to confront patrons viewing sex sites–are inadequate. Enforcement is inconsistent, and staffers are still exposed to sex sites and also to predatory behavior by some regular viewers. Staffers say they have regularly been harassed by patrons.

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