A Grain Valley police officer filed an employment discrimination suit against the City of Grain Valley in Jackson County on March 2nd.
Shannon Carr, plaintiff in the case, has petitioned for damages and equitable relief, alleging sex discrimination and retaliation. Carr filed charges of discrimination and requested a right to sue letter from the Missouri Commission of Human Rights in August 2021.
The petition filed in the case outlines the following:
Carr worked for the City for 15 years, the last of which have been as a patrol sergeant. The petition claims responsibilities were taken away from her and given to other male employees over the past two years. Additionally, the petition claims background investigation responsibilities were given to a male Sergeant and then to a male officer. In 2018, the petition states Carr had proposed starting a specialized unit regarding street crimes with an emphasis on drug activity, which was denied at the time. A Street Crime Unit was later started and multiple male officers, with less experience, were chosen by the Patrol Captain to be in the Unit.
The petition also outlines an alleged incident on October 12th, in which Carr was reprimanded and falsely accused of being insubordinate about the way a scene was processed in September 2020, and Carr was subsequently questioned about her emotional state. Carr was placed on a performance improvement plan for alleged conduct going back to 2016 and was required to seek a psychological evaluation.
The petition states the psychologist that conducted the evaluation suggested Carr seek legal assistance due to "the sex discrimination of the demand that Plaintiff seek psychological help".
The petition states Carr interviewed for a detective position on December 21, 2020, and alleges Carr did not get the job, "even though she was the most qualified, but she was given no feedback and her name wasn't even on the eligibility list for any future position." The petition also claims an outside agency interviewer asked Carr if she "would need more time to show up at the scenes because Plaintiff had to do her makeup and hair".
The petition states Carr filed a first charge of discrimination in February 2021 and alleges Defendant retaliated for filing the charge. The petition states Carr was placed on a performance improvement plan and required to attend a fitness for duty test that was not required of male employees. Carr was suspended and placed on administrative leave pending the results of the fitness for duty test.
The petition states Carr suffered damages "including but not limited to lost pay and benefits, embarrassment, humiliation, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, lost enjoyment of professional life", and is seeking compensatory damages of all costs, expenses, attorneys' fees, and appropriate equitable relief. Circuit Court Judge James Kanatzar has been assigned to the case.
Carr's attorney, Lynne Jaben Bratcher, stated they "would not be providing comment outside what is included in the petition."
Reached for comment, the City declined to comment, stating they do not comment on personnel matters or pending litigation.