[Sacramento, January 9, 2024] UPDATE: The US District Court awarded $1.6 million dollars in attorney’s fees and costs against the County of Plumas. The Court also ordered a permanent injunction requiring the County to create a review team including County representatives from outside of the Sheriff’s Department who will be required to review any sexual harassment complaints made by any sheriff’s employee; ordered the Sheriff’s Department not to interfere with any of the teams review of sexual harassment complaints; annual sexual harassment training, and that internal affairs investigators receive training in conducting sexual harassment training as required under the Fair Employment and Housing Act.
Previously, former Plumas Sheriff’s Department Correctional Officer has been awarded more than $750,000 after winning her Sexual Harassment and Retaliation Lawsuit against the County of Plumas and her former Supervisor. In her lawsuit filed in Federal Court, Plaintiff alleged her supervisor, a sergeant, had subjected her to unwelcome sexual conduct in the Plumas Jail, including grabbing her breasts. Almost immediately after her complaint, the Sheriff’s Department ordered internal affairs investigation of Plaintiff and later terminated Plaintiff; in part, for making a false report of sexual harassment.
During a two-week trial in Sacramento, the former Sergeant testified, admitting to having grabbed Plaintiff’s breast but claimed it was an accidental. The US District Court Judge found: “the County relied on [IA Investigator and Undersheriff’s] dubious, one-sided, and even false accusations against [Plaintiff] to justify its decision to terminate her employment.” “The notice of [Undersheriff’s] recommendation to terminate [Plaintiff’s] employment, which he wrote on the County’s behalf and which the County adopted, was retaliatory on its face.
The Court ordered the parties to return to Court to determine the attorneys’ fees and to determine additional injunctive relief against the County. [US District Court, Eastern District of California, Case No. 2:18-cv-03105-KJM-DB]. Plaintiff was represented by Calvin Chang, Joseph Maloney, and Eric Lambdin.