Former West Virginia Police officer sues department for gender harassment & ridicule

West Virginia Headlines

Brittany Lewis, a Moundsville Police officer for 12 years, says in a lawsuit filed in Marshall County Circuit Court, that she was treated unfairly compared with her male counterparts the entire time she was employed there. 

According to Attorney Teresa Toriseva, Lewis’ attorney, Lewis was eventually forced out of the department, and is now employed as a police officer in Cameron.

Toriseva says the discrimination became clear shortly after Lewis was hired in 2008.

She says Lewis suffered constant unequal treatment to the point that it affected her mental and physical health, causing depression, anxiety, loss of appetite and sleeplessness.

After she caught a suspect in a foot chase, a male counterpart said he was surprised she was “able to keep up.”

She says she was forced to comply with guidelines that male officers were not. 

She said she was denied training opportunities that were afforded to male counterparts with less seniority.

The suit alleges that Lewis was signed up for additional shift work, but her name was covered with correction fluid and a male officer was given the hours instead. 

“No one’s career path should be blocked by male superiors refusing to provide the same training, benefits and opportunities solely because that employee is a woman,” said Attorney Toriseva. 

The suit seeks compensatory and punitive damages, in an amount “to be determined by the jury in this case,” Toriseva said. 

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