Bradley v. California Dep’t of Corrections & Rehabilitation, 158 Cal. App. 4th 1612 (2008)

Sallie Mae Bradley worked temporarily at a California prison as a licensed clinical social worker. Bradley sued the California Department of Corrections (“CDC”) for sexual harassment directed at her by the prison’s Muslim chaplain, Omar Shakir. The jury awarded her $300,000 in non-economic damages and $139,000 in past and future economic damages. The Court of Appeal held that Bradley was a special employee of the CDC within the meaning of the Fair Employment and Housing Act. Further, the Court held that the jury’s conclusion that the CDC did not take immediate corrective action to end Shakir’s harassment was supported by substantial evidence. The Court noted that “Shakir was engaged in classic stalking behavior, terrorizing, intimidating and humiliating Bradley and taking full advantage of his free access to her at work to accomplish his inappropriate goals. The sum total of CDC’s [inadequate] response was to refer the complaint to a bogged-down investigative process and to caution Bradley to protect herself.” Cf. Fichman v. Media Ctr., 512 F.3d 1157 (9th Cir. 2008) (directors of a non-profit organization are not employees within the meaning of the ADEA and ADA).