Lawsuit: Dental hygienist launched in Virginia Jail after tampon was mistaken for “contraband”

A dental hygienist has filed a lawsuit against the Virginia Justice Department alleging she lost her position with the agency after a body scanner found she was wearing a tampon.

According to NBC12, the findings of the scan were interpreted as something completely different by the staff at the facility.

The clerk, Joyce Flores, says she withdrew and detained for hours when staff at the Augusta Correctional Center accused her of trying to smuggle contraband goods into jail. Flores protested repeatedly – going so far as to “demonstrate” to female guards that she was menstruating and wearing a tampon.

In her lawsuit and conversations with prison administrators, Flores stated that she had worn a tampon in prison. Some time later in the day, she went to the washroom to remove it – but found that she had forgotten to bring a replacement. Flores then used a wad of toilet paper as a replacement.

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Unfortunately, August’s “watchful” guards noticed the difference in Flores’ body scans and were quickly confronted.

But Flores’ arguments fell on deaf ears; An “angry” administrator fired her and she left Augusta without work.

According to Flores’ lawsuit, this was despite the fact that the correction staff could not find anything controversial about her person, clothing, or car.

“At no time [Flores] Bringing contraband goods into the Augusta Correctional Center or trying, ”the lawsuit said. Rather, Flores’ “employment was terminated because she was a menstruating woman using a feminine hygiene product when she came to work.”

Since Flores ‘lawsuit was filed as a sex discrimination complaint, the Virginia Justice Department tried to dismiss the lawsuit because there was insufficient evidence that sex was a motivating factor in Flores’ dismissal.

But on Monday a federal judge rejected the ministry’s request.

“Without Flores ‘menstruation and the use of a tampon – conditions inextricably linked to her gender and childbearing ability – she would not have been released,” wrote US District Judge Thomas T. Cullen, in his opinion, effectively making Flores’ lawsuit unhindered can be continued.

The Washington Post notes that the Virginia Department of Justice had previously implemented and enforced inherently discriminatory guidelines. For example, in 2018 the agency tried to ban anyone entering its facilities from wearing tampons, claiming that their body scanners could not distinguish between menstrual products and smuggled contraband.

Although the tampon restriction was quickly lifted, agency officials admitted less than a year later that they were still informally enforcing the ban.

Flores’ lawsuit suggests that her resignation, along with comments from the Virginia Department of Justice, provides an appropriate excuse for a sexual discrimination lawsuit.

Flores is currently seeking US $ 300,000 in damages, cashbacks, and re-employment or equivalent compensation for wages she would have earned if she had been employed normally.


The Virginia prison guards charged a worker with smuggling contraband and was fired. It was a tampon, she says.

Virginia prison staff released for sexual discrimination following alleged tampon interrogation against Sue State

The Virginia prison worker says she was fired on suspicion of smuggling after the body scan discovered tampon

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