OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A former Nebraska State Patrol trooper has lost her lawsuit against the state alleging that she and other women were put through a medically unnecessary and invasive pelvic exam during the hiring process.
Senior U.S. District Judge Joseph Bataillon ruled Brienne Splittgerber didn’t have enough evidence and dismissed her lawsuit, the Lincoln Journal Star reported.
“There is no evidence in the record, other than plaintiff’s bare hearsay and foundationless assertions, that the physical standards are medically inappropriate or that the examining physician inappropriately conducted the examination,” Bataillon wrote.
Splittgerber sued in 2017, alleging that she had to undergo a vaginal and rectal physical examination to check for a hernia and hemorrhoids before being hired in 2015. The exam was performed by a male doctor the state patrol selected, and men weren’t required to go through the examination, the lawsuit said.
Splittgerber complained to her superiors after being told by her family doctor that there was no legitimate medical purpose for the exam. She was told an investigation was underway, but was disturbed that female patrol candidates from subsequent recruitment classes continued to be sent to the same doctor to submit to the exams, the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit also alleged that the state patrol tried to cover up wrongdoing and created a hostile work environment for Splittgerber after she complained. Splittgerber resigned from the patrol in May.
Bataillon said there was no evidence that similar exams weren’t conducted on male candidates. He said there was also no evidence of a hostile work environment or a cover up, noting that a report about the complaint was issued and policy was adjusted to allow job candidates to request a doctor of a specific gender or have their own doctor perform the exam.
Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, http://www.journalstar.com
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