Topeka Two former employees have filed a federal lawsuit against Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor alleging they were wrongfully terminated for raising issues about race and gender discrimination.
The Topeka Capital-Journal reported Tuesday that Krystal Boxum-Debolt of Lawrence and Lisa Moore of Rio Rancho, N.M., filed the case earlier this month in federal court in Topeka. Moore was living in Kansas at the time that the alleged wrongdoings took place.
The two women allege they were fired by Taylor in August 2010 for raising concerns about the lack of an area to pump breast milk and nurse. The suit also claims they weren't paid overtime and alleges race discrimination by a supervisor toward Hispanics.
Also named in the lawsuit are the Shawnee County Commission. Attorney General Derek Schmidt was served with the lawsuit but isn't a named defendant. His office declined Tuesday to comment about the matter.
A spokesman for the district attorney's office declined to comment Tuesday about the case referring all questions to the attorney general's office.
Boxum-Debolt started working for the district attorney's office in August 2005, while Moore began in June 2009.
According to court documents, the women began reporting instances of gender discrimination in spring 2010, raising an issue with supervisors over the lack of appropriate facilities for women to breast feed or pump breast milk. The lawsuit says the women were ridiculed for raising the issue, adding that "Moore must not have enough work to do since she was looking up statutes."
The lawsuit also claims that an unnamed supervisor used her position to coerce a Hispanic employee, her family and the widow of a Hispanic murder victim to clean her home.
The women said they were initially suspended then fired by Taylor's office for making the complaints. The women filed a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and were notified earlier this year that they were able to file a federal lawsuit against Taylor, Schmidt and the county commission.
The county commission is named as conspirators, alleging that as supervisors of the district attorney's office took no action to correct the alleged wrongdoings against Moore and Boxum-Debolt.