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Former Corrections Officer sues state, alleging sexual orientation, race discrimination

Prison bars
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Ashley Menchaca alleges her MDOC supervisors restricted her bathroom access and threatened her with discipline if she continued to work, among other complaints.

A former Michigan corrections officer has sued the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC), alleging the agency discriminated against her based on sexual orientation and race.

The Livingston Daily Press & Argus reports that Ashley Menchaca, who is Hispanic and gay, worked at the Woodland Center Facility in Whitmore Lake from January 2016 until she resigned May 2017.

The lawsuit alleges that Menchaca's supervisors restricted her bathroom access, disciplined her for using the bathroom, threatened her with discipline if she continued to work at the facility, and spread rumors that she'd left the country.

The lawsuit says the alleged actions violate the federal anti-discrimination statute. Michigan doesn't currently recognize sexual orientation as a protected class.

MDOC's written response to the complaint denies any discriminatory conduct. The agency is seeking the complaint's dismissal.

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