Northmapton County Prison is defending itself against a federal lawsuit in which a corrections officer claims she was discriminated against based on her gender.
According to an amended lawsuit filed by Palmer Township resident Laura Kane against Northampton County and Director of Corrections Arnold Matos, the director is responsible for "allowing the perpetration of discriminatory acts" against the five-year employee.
Kane's lawsuit says she scored first on a competitive exam for a lieutenant position multiple times in 2010 and 2012, but was passed over for the promotion both times.
The lawsuit claims disparaging remarks were made by prison officials, including a comment that there are "politics involved" in the hiring of a lieutenant.
The lawsuit says Kane was ultimately hired as a lieutenant later in 2012, but was later demoted despite receiving job evaluations with scores that met the job's expectations.
The lawsuit alleges Kane was subjected to derogatory comments by different officials, including union officials. The lawsuit claims one official said Kane's situation was "definitely a union thing" and that "men do not like taking orders from women."
The lawsuit seeks a jury trial and unspecified damages "due to loss of seniority, had to seek psychiatric services, and damages to personal relationships due to the mental toll the defendant has placed upon her through humiliation and demotion in the workplace, due to a hostile work environment."
County officials are not commenting on the case.