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Workplace discrimination case filed against prison system

Even in 2016, certain industries remain predominantly male. One of them is the corrections industry, which remains primarily staffed by men. Some Texas residents might assume that women are primarily placed in women's prisons and in the women's section of jails, but in many places, that is not the case. To restrict the positions that a woman can occupy would most likely be considered workplace discrimination.

In fact, this is what several women who work at an out-of-state prison are alleging. Back in 1997, there were rampant allegations that female prisoners were being sexually assaulted and otherwise abused by male correctional officers at the women's facility in that state. In response, the prison system required that a certain number of positions, along with particular positions, were to be filled by women in order to reduce the risk of those occurrences.

The female correctional officers in the lawsuit against the Michigan prison system claim that they are denied promotions and other job opportunities due to this rule. They allege that they are responsible for finding a replacement for their position before a transfer to another facility can even be considered. The women say that these restrictions deny them upward advancement and the opportunity to work elsewhere in the state. 

As is often required, they first took their workplace discrimination claims to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The federal government then filed a lawsuit against the Michigan Department of Corrections. Any Texas resident who believes they are being discriminated against based on gender retains the right to follow in the footsteps of these women.

Source: mlive.com, "Feds sue Michigan prison system, claim discrimination against female guards", Ron Fonger, June 13, 2016

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