Former County Employee Alleges Sexual Harassment and Retaliation

According to Columbia Basin Herald, a former Grant county employee claims her former boss sexually harassed her for roughly three years. Noelle D. Rutty filed a complaint concerning the Grant County Youth Services Center and Juvenile Court alleging gender discrimination, quid pro quo sexual harassment and retaliation. Rutty claims sexual harassment and gender discrimination at the Grant County Youth Services Center and Juvenile Court started in 2007.

Rutty started working at the detention center in 2005 and was promoted to legal secretary assistant by Administrator Swanson. She alleges that Swanson began to ask about her personal life and sending text messages after she would leave work. The text messages escalated when Swanson was reportedly drinking or observing pornography.

Rutty claims the Administrator sent her at least 2,350 text messages between December 2008 and March 2010, according to the complaint. Swanson invited the employee to his home, explaining his back door was unlocked and that he wanted to keep the invitation a secret. Rutty claims that if she ignored Swanson’s messages, she would be asked to report to the office and provide an explanation.

The county reportedly placed Swanson on a three months paid administrative leave during the investigation. Rutty had resigned from her position after co-workers reportedly started harassing her over the investigation and attempted to discourage her from filing a claim. There are many types of harassment that can occur at work and not all inappropriate behavior has to include touching.

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