AP NEWS

State employee files $19 million sexual harassment lawsuit

January 10, 2020 GMT

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A state employee who says she was sexually harassed and physically injured by a supervisor is suing the state for $19 million.

Toni Prins, a Kenai juvenile justice worker, also said in her lawsuit that she was given a poor performance review when she complained, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

The lawsuit was filed in November. State officials deny that Prins has a valid claim and last month asked that it be dismissed.

Prins’ lawsuit claims a supervisor began to harass her in April 2016. She complained to another supervisor but no immediate action was taken, the lawsuit said. The supervisor injured her during a training session intended to teach safe restraint, the lawsuit said.

Prins was transferred to another supervisor and received a positive performance review, the lawsuit said.

The Alaska State Commission on Human Rights investigated Prins’ complaint. The commission concluded that Prins’ injury was deliberate retaliation and that Prins was the subject of discrimination, according to a description written by Prins’ attorney, Sara Bloom.

Bloom declined comment on the lawsuit. Assistant attorney general Maria Bahr said the state generally does not comment on ongoing litigation.