WA: First Woman Captain on State Patrol Sues Department

The first woman to become a captain in Washington’s State Patrol has filed a lawsuit against the department alleging sexual harassment and gender discrimination.

Colleen McIntyre alleges that she missed out on an assignment in 2001 largely based on her gender, and that she was treated less favorably than a male colleague for violating a similar internal rule, according to the Associated Press. The lawsuit also contends that she lost her job in 2002 for complaining about her unfair treatment.

McIntyre was allegedly fired for violating a “truthfulness” regulation, the AP reports. She was reinstated this year after the state Court of Appeals ruled that her termination had been illegal because she was never properly charged with any violations.

“The court has already determined that she was wrongly terminated, and now this lawsuit is to determine why,” said Valerie Zeeck, one of McIntyre’s attorneys, according to the Seattle Times. “We believe there is a larger pattern of discriminatory conduct in the [Washington State Patrol].”

“The record already reflects abundant evidence that the command staff engaged in discriminatory behavior and when she complained about that, they retaliated against her,” Zeek told the Associated Press.

McIntyre is seeking to regain her former rank of captain as well as compensation for lost wages and medical expenses, AP reports.

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Seattle Times 3/19/04; Associated Press 3/19/04, 3/20/04

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