Michigan Dept of Corrections sued over female officer discrimination allegations

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The federal department of Justice is keeping the Michigan Department of corrections and the state close on their radar.

A lawsuit filed Monday alleges that female correctional officers at the women's Huron Valley Correctional Facility in Ypsilanti are being discriminated against because of a shortage in female workers.

Attorney Jim Rasor, who has represented discriminated correctional officers in the past, says the prison has had issues with male workers before.

"There were lawsuits challenging the fact that women inmates in the women's jails were having to trade anything they could do  - including sex  - in order to get basic necessities." he said. "The male correction officers, evidentially and according to this litigation, were out of control."

He believes the alleged switch to all-female correctional officers, happened as an effort to prevent lawsuits. He says because of an overall shortage in female workers, they are not being granted transfers and qualified men are not being hired.

"The women are being asked to work outrageous overtime and put in hours that are dangerous to their health and dangerous to their family," Rasor said.

Rasor says the MDOC has been sued many times before, and they settle with tax payer money. He adds that this lawsuit may be one step toward fixing a bigger problem.

"This is not what we should expect as taxpayers," he said. "We're better than this, Michigan's better than this, we can do better than this. And that's with the federal government is telling us. And I fully expect the federal government to prevail in these charges. Because I know this department is a real problem."

FOX 2 contacted the Department of Corrections for their reaction to the lawsuit. A spokesperson said there will be no comment at this time.