FLORENCE, Ala. – A University of North Alabama police officer has filed a federal lawsuit against the University of North Alabama alleging age and gender discrimination regarding her pay.
The complaint filed Dec. 21, alleges 40-year-old Shequanda Jenkins was paid less than male police officers. She says she has more law enforcement experience and formal education than other male officers.
The court documents also contend Jenkins is one of the oldest officers on the force.
According to the lawsuit, Jenkins applied for a promotion to Sergeant in 2020, but she wasn’t given the position. It alleges Jenkins had the same amount of formal education and more law enforcement experience than the male officer selected for the job.
The lawsuit also says Jenkins applied for another open slot in June of 2020 that would have resulted in her promotion to Sergeant, but, according to the lawsuit, was again passed over for a male officer with less law enforcement experience and less formal education than Jenkins.
A UNA spokeswoman responded to News 19 regarding the federal lawsuit:
“We have not had an opportunity to review the assertions made by this plaintiff’s attorney. While we don’t comment on pending litigation, University of North Alabama policies are focused on creating equal opportunity for all employees and do not tolerate discrimination because of gender or age — and numerous other factors — in any personnel actions, programs, and facilities. We look forward to addressing this matter through the legal process.”
Court documents state Jenkins was demoted in 2018 after a disagreement with the police chief regarding testimony she provided to the Lauderdale County District Court. As a result, her pay was reduced.
According to the lawsuit, Jenkins asks to be awarded the title of Sergeant as well as back pay, plus compensatory and punitive relief if won.