HR Strange But True!
June 21, 2001

Lt. Robert Dean works as a guard for the California Department of Corrections, but it's his role as "Naked Man" that has him, his union, and the department in court.

Dean posed in his birthday suit - with only a giant union shield covering his midsection - for a union recruitment poster. The ad's slogan, "Don't Go Naked," was conceived to promote the union's Gold Shield plan, which includes legislation and other reforms to make the profession "battle-ready for the new century."

But California prison officials say they've received complaints from female officers, which could lead to workplace harassment lawsuits against the state. "We believe the poster creates a hostile work environment," Corrections Department spokeswoman Margot Bach told the San Francisco Chronicle.

So the state has gone to court to suppress the ad, consistently referring to Dean in its documents as "Naked Man." A Superior Court judge has responded with a temporary order that will allow the posters to hang uncensored until more arguments are filed.

A union lawyer told the Chronicle that complaints about the poster haven't come from union members; in fact, he said, they like the poster and appreciate Dean's sense of humor.

"He doesn't look like Charles Atlas. He's not the most in-shape guy," said the lawyer, Ronald Yank. "Our membership, male and female, think it's a hoot."

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

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