Cannon County EMS workers suing for sexual harassment by supervi - WSMV News 4

Cannon County EMS workers suing for sexual harassment by supervisors

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Two emergency medical services workers are suing the county they worked for, claiming sexual harassment by their supervisors and the director of Cannon County EMS.

This week, Former Cannon County EMS worker Diane Mooneyham and current part-time EMS worker Crystal Mason filed a lawsuit against Cannon County for what they call 'hostile working conditions.'

The court documents state male supervisors made comments to them, including "When are you going to start giving it up to me?", "Are you wearing a thong?", and  "Double D."

Mason alleges EMS Director Richard Cope went into her bedroom at the station and tried to put his hands down her pants, and another coworker reportedly saw it.

Channel 4 called Cope today for comment, but he pointed Channel 4 to Cannon County Attorney Michael Corley.

"The county government hasn't really had time to digest the allegations in the complaint. It was just filed on Monday. And I have not had any detailed conversations with county government officials," says Corley.

Mooneyham claims she was told to get under Cope's desk while he looked at her tickets one day.

"At this point, they're only allegations of that, and as far as county government has been made aware of, there have been no allegations of that other than the filing of this lawsuit," Corley says.

Mooneyham resigned in March, alleging unwanted sexual favors, discrimination and retaliation for using her sick pay. The court documents said if the women didn't follow the chain of command and let the director know their allegations, then they faced termination.

The lawsuit says, according to the EMS employment manual, Cope has final say in a work complaint. However, Cope is also named as a harasser in the documents. The court documents also say the department's manual doesn't guide employees on what to do to bypass the director.

Corley says the women could have filed complaints with someone else, indicating it's common knowledge that the ultimate authority is county court. 

"There's been no complaints filed with either the arbiter, the county court or the county mayor's office," Corley says.

The lawsuit also says there is no human resources department for Cannon County employees and no county-wide policies for them to follow.

"It's been difficult to have one policy to fit all and the departments have all developed their own," says Corley.

Corley said every county department has different work conditions, but he says the varying policies don't distract from the bottom line.

"I don't think there's any confusion that sexual harassment is not the policy of the County nor is it the law in this state," says Corley.

Channel 4 reached out to the plaintiffs' attorney, but it has not been returned at this time.

Both women are suing for damages, pay, loss of benefits and suffering.

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