A former correctional officer with the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office is suing the office, charging discrimination and a hostile work environment.
Trisha Brown is seeking $200,000 in compensatory damages and $200,000 in punitive damages, plus back pay and benefits. The defendant contends she was discriminated against and then faced retaliation, including yelling and cursing, from others in the office after reporting it. She was hired at the sheriff’s office on Nov. 1, 2009.
In the lawsuit, dated Dec. 17, Brown claims she was wrongfully terminated on March 1, 2010, in violation of the Tennessee Human Rights Act, for not rendering aid to an officer in December 2009.
Brown also claims she was subsequently denied her due process rights by not receiving a hearing on the matter.
Nina Parsley, Brown’s attorney, declined to comment.
The Metro Department of Law had not yet received information on the suit Wednesday and would not comment on the case.
The claims stem from a Dec. 17, 2009, incident during which an inmate assaulted a civilian employee at the sheriff’s office and Brown was accused of not helping restrain the inmate.
Thirty days after the use of force incident, Brown claims sheriff’s office Lt. Richard Miller questioned her on topics such as sex outside of marriage and her relationships with men.
According to Brown, several sheriff’s office sergeants told her women shouldn’t work in corrections and asked her questions about if she had come from a broken home, had children out of wedlock, had suffered any failed marriages or was from another country, among others.
Brown, a white female, is also suing based on race discrimination, claiming she was subjected to rumors and harassment because she was involved in a relationship with a black man.
She said she was also accused of having a relationship with her superior lieutenant because he was black.