Mt. Pleasant Inmate Sues for Sexual Harassment

(AP) — Iowa must pay $71,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by a former inmate who alleged sexual harassment at her prison job.

The Iowa Appeal Board approved the settlement Monday involving 43-year-old Melissa Lee Renda. She will receive $25,000 and her attorney will get $46,000.

The Des Moines Register says Renda is a former inmate at the Mount Pleasant Correctional Facility and worked as a discharge clerk. She filed a complaint in 2007 with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission that alleged sexual harassment from a corrections officer and retaliation.

The commission closed the case and said a prisoner did not have employee protections under Iowa law. A district court affirmed the conclusion, but the Iowa Supreme Court in 2010 disagreed and allowed the case to move forward.