Jury finds Hawaii subjected employee to sexual harassment

Published: Dec. 22, 2015 at 8:51 PM HST|Updated: Dec. 22, 2015 at 8:53 PM HST
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Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - A federal jury says the state of Hawaii and its Department of Transportation's airports division have discriminated against a former employee.

They say an explosives detection canine handler was subjected to sexual harassment when she worked at Honolulu International Airport.

The federal Justice Department filed the lawsuit. The lawsuit claims the canine handler was grabbed and hugged and called "sexy" and "brown baby" by a co-worker. But the jury says despite complaints about her co-worker's conduct, the employer didn't take appropriate steps to change the situation.

The jury on Monday awarded the employee $38,000 to compensate her for pain and suffering. The Justice Department is asking Hawaii to review its sexual harassment policies.

A spokesman for Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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