Virginia prison staffer says she was fired on suspicion of smuggling after body scan detected tampon

A dental hygienist who says she was fired by the Virginia Department of Corrections after a body scanner detected she was wearing a tampon can proceed with a sex discrimination lawsuit against the state, a federal judge ruled this week. The incident took place in December 2019.

The employee, Joyce Flores, alleged she was interrogated for hours at Augusta Correctional Center on suspicion she was smuggling contraband. She said she was ultimately terminated from her position at the facility despite demonstrating to female guards that she was menstruating and allowing them to search her car and work area — steps she says turned up no evidence of illegal activity.

“At no point did (Flores) bring or attempt to bring contraband into Augusta Correctional Center,” Flores’ lawsuit alleges. Her “employment was terminated because she was a menstruating female utilizing a feminine hygiene product when she arrived to work.”

NBC 12

“But for Flores’s menstruation and use of a tampon — conditions inextricable from her sex and her childbearing capacity — she would not have been discharged,” U.S. District Judge Thomas T. Cullen, a Trump appointee representing the Western District of Virginia, wrote in his opinion.

The NY Daily has a slightly different version of this.

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