2016 photo of press conference announcing legal action
DES MOINES, Iowa — A female prison nurse who identifies as a male has succeeded in her discrimination lawsuit against the State of Iowa and has been awarded $120,000 by a jury after she challenged the denial of her request to use the men’s restroom and locker room at work, as well as the exclusion of “sex change”-related operations from her state employee insurance coverage.
“You need to let transgender people use the single-sex facilities consistent with their gender identity, or face finding that you are breaking the law,” Melissa Hasso, one of the attorneys who handled the case along with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), told the Des Moines Register.
Jesse Vroegh, 37, no longer works for the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women, where she had been employed for seven years.
According to reports, she was diagnosed with gender dysphoria in 2014 and informed her employers that she would be transitioning into a man.
A year later, she asked for permission to use the mens’ restroom, but was denied due to concerns about “the rights of the male officers.” Vroegh was asked to instead use a unisex restroom, but the restroom didn’t include a shower, so she says she wasn’t able to shower at work, including following one training session where she had been pepper sprayed.
Vroegh additionally sought to have her breasts removed, but discovered that the State does not include sex change operations in employee insurance
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