Ex-Missouri prisons officer's lawsuit says she was harassed

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A former corrections officer has sued the state of Missouri, alleging she was sexually harassed and subjected to retaliation when she complained about a hostile work environment at Potosi Correctional Center. 

The lawsuit by Patricia Lawson is the latest in a string of complaints about harassment within Missouri's prisons that has seen millions in damages paid out in recent years to other women who had worked in the system. 

Lawson worked as a corrections officer at the eastern Missouri prison from July 2007 through June 2019. Her lawsuit says she was subjected to sexual propositions, called vulgar sexist names and threatened with violence by a fellow male officer in 2018 after she complained, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Lawson's bosses at the prison increasingly made her job more difficult after she complained and eventually fired her in 2019, according to the lawsuit.

Karen Pojmann, a spokeswoman for the Missouri Department of Corrections, told the Post-Dispatch that the agency does not comment on pending litigation.

The lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount in damages.