Two WA Women Police Officers Sue Police Department for Discrimination
Arin Reining and Nina Murphy, two women police officers who worked for the Sumner, Washington Police Department, have filed a federal lawsuit against the Department, alleging that they were discriminated against because of their sex, and faced retaliation when they complained about it. The women also allege that Sumner’s chief, Benjamin Reisz, particularly singled them out for discipline, and told one of the women that she would never be promoted because a high-ranking woman would embarrass the department. In court documents, their allegations are supported by a male Sumner sergeant who agreed that the women were treated differently than their male counterparts, and by a former Sumner Police administrative supervisor who quit because of the Department’s hostile environment for women. The Department alleges that the women’s claims are false and that a private investigator who was hired to investigate the situation found no grounds to support the women’s accusations. Attorneys for Reining and Murphy, however, say that the manner the investigation was conducted in was ill conceived because it considered each woman’s complaint separately instead of looking at the Department’s systemic practice of discrimination. Arin Reining has since resigned from the Department, and is now a sheriff’s deputy with the Benton County Sheriff’s Department. Nina Murphy remains on at Sumner as their only female officer. To prevent problems like discrimination that keep women out of policing, the National Center has created the Self-Assessment Guide for Law Enforcement, which provides agencies with step-by-step approaches for insuring a positive environment for women employees. The Guide is available for free through the National Criminal Justice Reference Service.
Media Resources: Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 08/08/02
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .