Michigan corrections officer sues over discrimination
HOWELL, Mich., Sept. 23, 2018 (AP): A former Michigan
corrections officer has sued the state Department of
Corrections, alleging the agency discriminated against her based
on sexual orientation and race.
who is Latina and gay, worked at Woodland Center Facility in
Whitmore Lake from January 2016 until she resigned May 2017, the
Livingston Daily Press & Argus reported . The original complaint
was filed in March and then amended in June to list the
corrections department as the sole defendant.
The lawsuit alleges that Menchaca's supervisors restricted her
bathroom access, disciplined her for using the bathroom,
threatened her with discipline if she continued to work at the
facility, and spread rumors that she'd left the country.
Menchaca also alleged that her supervisors made her use a hard
stool at her work station, but would replace the stool with a
cushioned chair when others were assigned to the station.
MDOC's written response to the complaint denies any
discriminatory conduct or practices. The agency is seeking the
complaint's dismissal because it ``does not fit within the
prohibitions of the law,'' the agency said.
The lawsuit says the alleged actions violate the federal
anti-discrimination statute. Michigan doesn't currently
recognize sexual orientation as a protected class.
``To us, it is important because, beyond the fact that what
happened to Ashley, employers are technically allowed to
discriminate based on sexual orientation,'' Andrew Laurila, one
of Menchaca's lawyers, said.
MDOC spokesman Chris Gautz declined to comment on the case
specifically, but said employees attend anti-discrimination
workshops and officials have made anti-discrimination a
Information from: Livingston Daily Press & Argus,