Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Douglas County did not discriminate against female correctional officers when jail administrators reassigned female guard to late night shift. Tipler v. Douglas County, NE 062553P.pdf 04/12/2007District of Nebraska – Omaha employment discrimination case. Plaintiff was a corrections officer at the Douglas county jail. She initially served the standard day shift, but was reassigned to a less desirable night shift. After three months she regained her day shift, but in the meantime she suffered headaches, childcare problems and other woes. Naturally she sued under Title VII(42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a)) and the Constitution (42 U.S.C. § 1983, US constitution amendment 14). Male corrections officers did not experience the same shift change difficulties. The district court found that the County had a reasonable gender-based job assignment policy, and that Tipler "failed to establish any right to a particular shift assignment or that the assignment resulted in more than a minimum restriction on her employment." The court granted the County summary judgment. The Eighth Circuit affirms. The County "acknowledges that Appellant's gender was a factor in moving her to a different shift." However “An employer may treat employees differently based on gender when it is "a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary to the normal operation of thatparticular business." See 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(e). Prison assignments qualify for such personnel actions. Plaintiff's reassignment to a different shift on the ground that additional females were needed on that shift in order to supervise female prisoners was reasonable and required in order for the facility to comply with state prison standards; reassignment imposed only a minimal restriction on plaintiff; county employed means that were substantially related to achieving important government objectives, and the transfer did not violate plaintiff's rights under the Equal Protection Clause

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