Two female agents with South Carolina’s state police are suing the agency in federal court, saying they were denied promotions because of their gender, reports the Associated Press. State Law Enforcement Division agents Laurie V. Caldwell of Lexington County and Melody D. Wright of Richland County claim in lawsuits filed last week that they were unfairly denied lieutenant positions in 2006 and 2007. Wright, who is black, also alleges that she was passed over because of her race.
Former SLED chief Robert Stewart, who was not named in the lawsuits, told The State newspaper of Columbia that government agencies had investigated the women’s claims and found no basis for them. State Human Affairs Commission chief Jesse Washington told the newspaper that his office closed both women’s cases with “no cause” findings. Caldwell joined SLED in 1986. In her suit, she said, she realized in 2006 “that there was a glass ceiling at SLED, which prohibited female employees from promotional opportunities and advancement…”