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Female Correctional Employees Prevail in Action Claiming Sexual Harassment by Inmates, Plus Immigration Case

By FindLaw Staff on May 10, 2010 2:29 PM

Ayala v. US Atty. Gen., No. 09-12113, concerned a petition for review of the BIA's denial of petitioner's application for asylum and withholding of removal.  The Eleventh Circuit granted the petition, holding that the analysis of the BIA as to whether the mistreatment petitioner suffered rose to the level of persecution lacked "any review of the most important facts presented in this case."

Beckford v. Dept. of Corrs., No. 09-11540, involved an action by female corrections officers claiming that the institution failed to remedy a sexually hostile work environment that male inmates created for female employees.  The court of appeals affirmed judgment for plaintiffs, on the grounds that 1) there was no reason to treat prison inmates differently from other third-party harassers and prisons differently from other employers under Title VII; 2) a reasonable jury could have found that prison officials should have enforced the inmate dress policy, which required inmates to wear pants when female staff were in the close management dorms; and 3) the refusal of the district court to instruct the jury about the Faragher defense did not prejudice defendant.

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