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APMore On:discriminationWhite corset style bra people face discrimination, say white peopleFirm behind Fearless Girl statue underpaid female workers: fedsSuit claims Mark Zuckerberg thinks young people are just smarterI was laid off while I was on maternity leaveOMAHA, Neb. — The Nebraska State Patrol has for years forced female recruits to submit to invasive, medically unnecessary pelvic exams performed by a male doctor before they can be hired, according to a new federal lawsuit that has prompted a criminal investigation.
State Trooper Brienne Splittgerber filed womens bikinis sale the lawsuit Tuesday against the patrol, the state of Nebraska, two former patrol heads and various other people, accusing them of creating a hostile work environment for women.
Immediately upon learning of these allegations in June, suit underwear the Governor instructed his Chief Human Resources Officer to review this matter, which has subsequently resulted in a criminal investigation by the State Patrol, Taylor Gage, a spokesman for Gov. Pete Ricketts, said in a written statement Wednesday.jpwgm156693
Gage did not respond to questions about who is being criminally investigated or whether the governor ordered the examinations stopped upon learning of them in June.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages, saying women recruits for years have been required to undress from the waist down for a vaginal and rectal examination. The lawsuit says Splittgerber was told the exam was required to check for hernias, but male recruits were generally not required to undress or undergo such invasive exams.
Subjecting the plaintiff and other female trooper candidates to a medically unnecessary and sexually invasive procedure is outrageous conduct which goes beyond all possible bounds of decency and is utterly intolerable in a civilized community, according to the lawsuit, filed by Omaha attorney Tom White.
Splittgerber submitted to the exam in 2014 before she was hired by the patrol in 2015, saying in her lawsuit that she was required by a Lincoln doctor hired by the patrol to remove her pants and lie on her back, then her stomach, to be examined.
Splittgerber complained to her superiors after being told by her family doctor that there was no legitimate medical purpose for the exam. She was told an investigation was underway, the lawsuit says, but was disturbed that female patrol candidates from subsequent recruitment classes continued to be sent to the same doctor to submit to the exams.
Dr. Karen Carlson, an OB-GYN with Nebraska Medicine in Omaha, said it would be highly unusual to conduct a pelvic exam for a possible hernia. Pressing the abdomen with a hand would be standard for such a check, she said.
There would be no reason to look in the genital or anal area, Carlson said. We might have them loosen their pants, but I wouldnt think there would be any need to disrobe.
An attorney for the State Patrol declined to comment Wednesday, citing the pending litigation, and referred questions to the Nebraska Attorney Generals office, which will defend the patrol and state against the lawsuit. A spokeswoman for the Attorney Generals office would say only that her office is currently reviewing the lawsuit.
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