Shannon Caknipe, a former Jackson County 911 dispatcher, has filed a lawsuit against the county, claiming they did nothing to stop the sexual harassment she faced at work.
Caknipe began working as a dispatcher for Jackson County in 2008 and left in May 2016 after a leave of absence.
According to the lawsuit, Caknipe dealt with “offensive and vulgar sexual and gender-based conduct, actions, encounters, innuendos and jokes,” at work for four years.
“We feel our case is a very strong case,” Caknipe’s lawyer William Tishkoff said. “In my history – and I’ve done a lot of sexual harassment hostile work environment complaints – this is about as bad as I’ve seen it. Period.”
The lawsuit claims Caknipe also received several notes in her work mailbox, including a pamphlet about syphilis and a “homemade collage” with a story about Goldilocks and the three bears, a city police officer, Caknipe and sexually explicit song lyrics.
After Caknipe received Jackson County’s 2012 Dispatcher of the Year award, she allegedly was harassed by her coworkers with questions like “How many b— j— did that take? You must be tired” and “How high up the command chain did you sleep?”
Caknipe told several supervisors about all the incidents and was told to ignore it.
Caknipe took a leave of absence in March 2016 due to stress. As she was getting ready to return to work, Caknipe asked 911 Director Jason Hamman what was going to be done to fix the hostile culture. He allegedly told her that it was none of her business and that dispatch might not be the right place for her if she didn’t like how things were run.
Caknipe believed she had no other choice but to resign.