IS THAT a Fruit-A-Freeze in your pocket - or are you just happy to see me?
A northeastern Pennsylvania woman is suing a South Jersey-based maker of frozen treats and other snack foods, claiming that she was wrongfully fired because she wore a prosthetic penis to work.
Pauline Davis, 45, wore the device to the J&J Snack Foods plant in Moosic, Lackawanna County, while she contemplated a gender change, according to a federal civil-rights complaint filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Scranton. She confided in several co-workers about the device, and someone told management, according to the complaint.
She subsequently was fired from her job as a packer/line inspector. Her termination, she claims, was discriminatory because a male co-worker who wore female clothing and prostheses and took hormone treatments was not fired nor disciplined.
Further, argued her Bucks County-based attorney, Lalena J. Turchi, her fake penis was concealed and "in no way interfered with her ability to do her job."
Davis filed a complaint in March 2010 with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission office in Philadelphia, claiming gender and gender-identity discrimination.
She is seeking back pay, damages for suffering and humiliation, and punitive damages, according to this week's lawsuit.
The Daily News tried unsuccessfully to reach Davis, of Clifford, a Susquehanna County township north of Scranton, for comment. Her attorneys did not return telephone calls or emails yesterday for comment.
J&J Snack Foods Corp., based in Pennsauken, manufactures, markets and distributes treats including soft pretzels, slushies, frozen pops, cookies and churros. A J&J spokeswoman referred comment to a human-resources supervisor, who did not return our telephone call.