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A Pennsylvania woman considering a sex change operation was wrongfully fired for wearing a fake penis to work, a lawsuit claims.
Pauline Davis, 45, of Clifford, Pa., wants back pay and damages for humiliation and suffering in connection with her alleged wrongful firing, the Philadelphia Daily News reports. She also wants punitive damages.
Davis wore a prosthetic penis while working as a line inspector at a J&J Snack Foods plant in Moosic, Pa., the Daily News reports. No one could tell what Davis was packing in her pants, her lawsuit claims.
Pauline Davis' fake penis lawsuit says the prosthetic "in no way interfered with her ability to do her job," Davis' lawyer told the Daily News.
Davis confided in a few co-workers about her fake penis, and word spread to J&J's managers who summarily fired her, Davis' lawsuit states. Davis filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2010, claiming gender and gender-identity discrimination.
Davis also filed a civil-rights lawsuit Jan. 11 in federal court in Scranton, Pa. Davis claims her firing was discriminatory, because managers treated her case differently than that of a male co-worker who was also taking steps toward a sex change.
Workplace sex discrimination occurs when workers are treated differently because of their gender. The discrimination can affect anything work-related, including hiring decisions and promotions.
In Davis' case, she claims the male co-worker was neither fired nor disciplined after he wore women's clothing and prosthetics to make him look female at work. Davis' firing amounts to "disparate and discriminatory treatment for being a female," the suit states, according to the Scranton Times-Tribune.
A J&J Snack Foods representative did not return the Daily News' calls for comment about Pauline Davis' fake penis lawsuit. J&J makes snack foods including frozen popsicles, churros, and soft pretzels, according to the Daily News.