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Suffolk public works employee claims boss measured her stomach

A judge's gavel rests on top of a desk in a courtroom. (FILE PHOTO)
A judge's gavel rests on top of a desk in a courtroom. (FILE PHOTO)
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A female worker for the Suffolk County Department of Public Works claims her boss used a measuring tape to measure her stomach and made her participate in “weigh-in sessions” when she showed up for works, according to a federal lawsuit.

The employee, Arline Magnusson, 52, claims the bizarre actions were an attempt by her supervisors to get her to lose weight and “conform her appearance to that of a stereotypical female,” according to the suit.

She alleges her supervisor, Kevin Spence, who is identified in court documents as the department’s director of custodial and security, would routinely measure her arms and stomach using a ruler he had purchased. The court papers charge the “pressured weight-in sessions” lasted for several weeks.

“During the course of the weigh-in sessions, Defendant Spence and other co-workers tried to pressure Plaintiff to remove her shirt,” the suit says. Magnusson allegedly refused that and demanded the measuring stop, but Spence supposedly “screamed at Plaintiff and berated her and intimidated her so that she would not tell anyone about the weigh-in sessions and inappropriate touching,” according to the lawsuit.

Magnusson’s lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Central Islip, seeks unspecified monetary damages.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said the county was unable to comment due to pending litigation. Spence could not be reached for comment.

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