A California prisons correctional officer is suing the state, claiming she lost her unborn baby because she was denied less strenuous duty during her pregnancy.
Sarah Coogle is seeking unspecified damages. She lost the unborn baby while running to stop an altercation among prisoners, reported KERO ABC News in April.
Coogle, an officer at California Correctional Institution in Tehachapi, said she was given three non-negotiable options that would not be to her benefit:
Stay in her current position at work until five weeks before her due date.
Accept a demotion which would mean a two-thirds cut in pay, loss of peace officer status, loss of seniority, loss of benefits and loss of right to bid for shifts.
Take leave as an accommodation.
“The case is about gender inequality in the workplace and the tragic price one woman had to pay in order to secure her position on the playing field,” said Arnold P. Peter, attorney for the plaintiff.“
Corruption within the California state prison system cannot be tolerated,” U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman to NBC San Diego regarding the indictment of a 23-year CDCR veteran caught smuggling heroin and meth into prison.
“The callous indifference exhibited by the CDCR and the state of California placed Sarah in the impossible position of choosing between her career and her family. No man would ever be asked to make this terrible choice,” said Peter.
“No man has to bring their child to such a dangerous environment. I just want to earn my paycheck but protect my child at the same time,” Coogle told The Associated Press.
Coogle said she was running to stop an altercation during her third trimester and fell on “uneven terrain” in July 2017. She was taken to the hospital with abdominal pain. Her doctor directed her to not work for the duration of her pregnancy, according to the lawsuit, the AP reported.
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