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Retaliation Against Female Kentucky Prison Guard Nets $240,000

A Kentucky jury awarded a female guard $240,000 for retaliation.

Patricia McCullough was employed for 13 years as a guard at North Point Training Center in Boyle County, Kentucky. “Despite appropriate reviews and a clean record,” she was “passed over for promotion to sergeant or lieutenant,” thirty times.

McCullough sued in state court alleging she was passed over for gender discrimination and in retaliation for an EEOC complaint she filed in 1987. The 1987 suit compelled the prison to allow women to work in the yard. McCullough established that Warden Dewey Sowder “was very upset because of the 1987 complaint and decision.” She alleged Sowder held a grudge against her for that action.

On January 7, 1998, the jury rejected McCullough’s gender discrimination claim but found that she had been subjected to retaliation. She was awarded: $20,000 for emotional distress; $20,000 for embarrassment; $20,000 for damage to employment reputation; $60,000 for back pay; and $120,000 for punitive damages, totaling $240,000.
McCullough was represented by William Erwin of Danville, Kentucky. See: McCullough v. DOC, Boyle Cty. Cir. Ct. Case No. 95CI 0341.

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Related legal case

McCullough v. DOC