Knox County denies former jail guard's allegations of sexual harassment, age discrimination

·2 min read

Oct. 11—Knox County is denying allegations by a former jail guard that she was fired last year after she reported being sexually harassed by a male coworker.

Elizabeth Myers, 73, of St. George filed a lawsuit against Knox County in federal court last month. In the lawsuit she is alleging she faced both sexual harassment and age-based discrimination while working at the Knox County Jail. She also claimed that the male guard who sexually harassed her did the same to a female prisoner.

Attorneys representing the county broadly denied the allegations in a response filed Sept. 30. However, aside from denying the allegations, the response offers almost no additional details.

Myers worked part time at the jail from July 2017 until June 2020, according to her complaint. In its response, the county claims that Myers was not continuously employed during this time, but did not state when she was or was not working at the county jail.

During her employment, Myers claims a male guard repeatedly sexually harassed her.

The male guard allegedly made sexual comments to Myers, touched her breast and in one instance cornered her in a closet.

Myers reported these instances to her supervisors at the jail, according to the lawsuit. However she claims nothing was done following her complaints.

In addition to the sexual harassment allegations, Myers claims her coworkers and supervisors frequently made disparaging comments about her age.

Myers said she was fired in June 2020, after she was confronted by her supervisors regarding a Facebook message she sent to a coworker in which she expressed frustration that despite her reports about the male guard's conduct nothing was being done to address the behavior.

The county denies Myers' allegations that she was subjected to a hostile work environment and that she was retaliated against for reporting the alleged harassment and discrimination.

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