Missouri county settles underwire bra jail dispute for $405K

Sep 22, 2022, 2:46 PM | Updated: 3:16 pm

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri county has agreed to pay $405,000 to settle two lawsuits filed in a dispute that began when some underwire bras set off metal detectors at the county detention center.

The Jackson County Legislature approved the settlement this week for two longtime jail employees who alleged in sexual discrimination lawsuits that they were reprimanded and given different duties when they repeatedly failed to pass the screening machines at the jail, The Kansas City Star reported.

The dispute started in May 2019 when the county installed metal detectors at the detention center to keep weapons, cellphones and other contraband out of the jail in downtown Kansas City.

When underwire bras set off the detectors, attorneys were told they either had to remove them or meet with their clients via phone and separated by a window.

About 75 female attorneys and their supporters staged a public protest carrying signs such as “We need support!” when Jackson County Sheriff Daryl Forte and detention center director Diana Turner refused to find a solution.

Eventually, a secondary screening system was set up for attorneys and other visitors who might have contact with inmates — but not for female jail employees.

Employees Charlotte Hardin and Linda Hengel sued after unsuccessful attempts to comply with the screening process, including taking off their bras and putting them back on after they cleared the machine.

But jail management said undergarments were not allowed in the bins that went through an X-ray machine, although men were allowed to take off belts and put them back on after going through the machines.

In their lawsuits, Hardin and Hengel said they were assigned to other duties outside the secure area for repeatedly failing to get through the machine.

Hengel, who was inmate services coordinator, retired early because the new jobs aggravated her medical conditions.

At one point, Hardin was put on leave for removing her bra and putting it through the X-ray machine. She said she was treated unfairly and denied a pay raise for complaining about what she saw as a discriminatory policy.

Under the settlement, Hardin will be paid $255,000 and Hengel will be paid $150,000. Attorney Katherine Myers, who represented both women, will share in those settlements.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Prototype electric airplane takes first flight

MOSES LAKE, Wash. (AP) — A prototype, all-electric airplane took its first flight Tuesday morning in central Washington state. The Seattle Times reports that if the Federal Aviation Administration eventually certifies the small airplane to carry passengers, it could become the first all-electric commercial airplane. The plane, built by startup Eviation, was built to carry […]
11 hours ago
FILE - This undated photo provided by the Oklahoma State Dept. of Corrections shows Benjamin Robert...
Associated Press

Oklahoma panel rejects clemency for man in baby’s killing

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma’s Pardon and Parole Board voted 4-1 Tuesday to deny clemency for a man sentenced to die for killing his 9-month-old daughter in 2002, moving him a step closer to his scheduled lethal injection next month. Attorneys for Benjamin Cole, 57, did not dispute that Cole killed Brianna Cole by forcibly […]
11 hours ago
Associated Press

Maine man convicted of 11 charges stemming from Capitol riot

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Maine man who joined rioters at the U.S. Capitol was convicted Tuesday of 11 charges including assaulting, resisting or impeding police officers. Kyle Fitzsimons, 39, of Lebanon, charged to the front line on Jan. 6, 2021, and assaulted officers including three from the Metropolitan and Capitol Police Departments who testified against […]
11 hours ago
Associated Press

Former student convicted of spying for Chinese government

CHICAGO (AP) — A former graduate student has been convicted of spying for the Chinese government by gathering information on scientists and engineers in the U.S. who had knowledge about aerospace technology and other technology. A federal jury in Chicago convicted Ji Chaoqun, 31, on Monday of conspiracy to act as an agent of China’s […]
11 hours ago
Associated Press

Germany to keep 2 of its 3 nuclear plants running into April

BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s Economy and Energy Minister says the country will keep two of its remaining three nuclear power plants running until April to help prevent a potential energy shortage in the coming months. Tuesday’s announcement officially, albeit temporarily, reverses Germany’s long-held plan of shutting down its remaining nuclear plants by the end of […]
11 hours ago
Follow @ktar923...
Sponsored Content by Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.

Sponsored Articles

...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
...
Sanderson Ford

Don’t let rising fuel prices stop you from traveling Arizona this summer

There's no better time to get out on the open road and see what the beautiful state of Arizona has to offer. But if the cost of gas is putting a cloud over your summer vacation plans, let Sanderson Ford help with their wide-range selection of electric vehicles.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
Missouri county settles underwire bra jail dispute for $405K