Michigan State Department of Justice Gender discrimination lawsuit involving women law enforcement officers
The state of Michigan and the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) recently agreed to resolve a lawsuit filed by the US Department of Justice for discrimination based on sex.
A deal was recently announced between the state of Michigan and the Michigan Department of Justice (MDOC) to end a case filed by the U.S. Department of Justice against gender discrimination. The Settlement Agreement, filed in Detroit Federal District Court, will resolve allegations that the defendants “engaged in two unlawful employment practices that discriminated against female law enforcement officers in the Huron Valley Correctional Facility (WHV) for women based on sex in violation of the law VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. “
The Michigan Hall of Justice in Lansing, MI, home to the state’s Supreme Court. Image via Wikimedia Commons / User: Subterranean. (CCA-BY-3.0).
For those who don’t know, Title VII is federal law prohibiting discrimination in employment based on race, color, religion, gender, and national origin. The Justice Department’s complaint, filed on June 13, 2016, argued that “the defendants violated Title VII by classifying four jobs as all female and refusing to transfer female prison officers.”
The lawsuit itself was filed in response to sex discrimination charges filed with the Detroit Area Office of the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The charges were brought by 28 women correctional officers who either work for WHV or who have previously worked. In examining the allegations, the EEOC found that “there is a reasonable basis for believing that Title VII violations have occurred”. From there, the EEOC tried to find a solution through its mediation process, but those efforts failed and the lawsuit was filed.
Pamela S. Karlan, Assistant Attorney General, Department of Civil Rights, Ministry of Justice said:
“Michigan Justice Department women law enforcement officers will finally be able to work in conditions that are fair and consistent with the principles of equal opportunity. This settlement agreement is an important first step in eliminating the gender discrimination that has so handicapped the workplace for female correctional officers currently assigned to the Huron Valley Women’s Correctional Facility. “
Under the settlement agreement, the defendants are required to “pay US $ 750,000 in damages to eligible female prison officers who worked at WHV between 2009 and today, including those who charged the EEOC.” Additionally, the state and the MDOC must take steps to eliminate the alleged discrimination, including the following:
“Efforts to improve the recruitment and retention of women correctional officers at WHV, the lifting of the transfer freeze at WHV when female correctional officers reach a certain level, allowing a certain number of women correctional officers to be removed from WHV to other MDOC entities, and implementation of a review process according to Title VII for jobs only for women. “
Acting U.S. attorney Saima S. Mohsin of the Eastern District of Michigan said on the matter:
“We need to tackle obstacles to equal employment for women at all levels. On the rare occasion that gender is a real professional qualification, employers need to ensure that it is applied closely and that it does not impose stricter working conditions on women. The US Attorney’s Office is committed to continuing its role as a staunch advocate for equality. ”
Workplace Discrimination Lawsuit against Huron Valley Correctional Facility for Women Reaches Settlement
Department of Justice resolved gender discrimination lawsuit for unequal treatment of women correctional officers by the Michigan Department of Justice