Two female Westbrook police officers have sued the city, accusing male supervisors in the Westbrook Police Department of a pattern of gender discrimination dating to 2011, when they were the only women on the force.

The lawsuit by Sandy Mailman and Melissa May comes more than a year after they filed notice with the city of their intent to sue and after Westbrook officials vowed to work with them to avoid a lawsuit.

An attorney for the women, Rebecca Webber, said Thursday that the city has failed to take action since then to change the culture of gender discrimination in the department.

“To date, the city has still not investigated Officer May’s complaints. In addition, Mailman and May continue to face harassment and retaliation based on their gender and their initiation of this complaint. The police department continues to enforce policies in a way that treats people differently because of their gender,” Webber wrote in the lawsuit’s 22-page complaint.

Webber first filed the lawsuit in state court in Portland on Dec. 2, and the city of Westbrook was served on Dec. 9. An attorney for the city of Westbrook, Edward Benjamin Jr., then filed a notice in U.S. District Court in Portland on Dec. 23 to move the case to federal court, a common move since the federal court docket moves faster than in state court and filings can be made electronically rather than in person or by mail.

Webber then filed an amended complaint in federal court on Thursday, asking for injunctive relief, which is a legal request for the court to force changes within the Westbrook Police Department as a result of the alleged gender discrimination and subsequent retaliation against the women.

“They want the court to change the things that lead to discrimination,” said Webber, reached by phone Thursday afternoon at her office at Skelton Taintor and Abbott in Auburn.

Benjamin, who works at Drummond Woodsum in Portland, didn’t return a phone message left at his office Thursday.

May claims in the lawsuit that discrimination against her began after she issued a speeding ticket on Jan. 15, 2014, to the girlfriend of a male coworker, Officer Benjamin Hall.

“On the morning of January 23, 2014, several male officers were bantering in the patrol room about May stopping Hall’s girlfriend and issuing her a ticket,” the lawsuit states, going on to recount an exchange in which Mailman heard Sgt. John Desjardins and Officer Jeffrey Stackpole each use a profanity and a gender slur to refer to May.

Part of Mailman’s claim states that she was retaliated against after reporting that supervisors used the derogatory language to describe May and that the subsequent treatment by male supervisors created a hostile work environment. She also claims that she was singled out starting in 2011 due to her gender, including being denied overtime pay that was allowed for male officers.

May contends that she complained about Desjardins to several other supervisors after other officers in the department heard Desjardins describe her in derogatory language on other occasions.

May also contends that Capt. Michael Nugent tried to force her to “break the law by not issuing speeding tickets to officers’ girlfriends or family.”

May and Mailman brought their allegations of mistreatment to the police chief, city manager and the mayor of the city without anyone investigating the claims.

Webber said that since Westbrook hired a new police chief, Janine Roberts, late last year, officers have begun to be treated better. The department also has more female officers now.

Webber said gender discrimination is harmful in all workplace settings, but becomes especially dangerous and potentially life-threatening for people who work as part of a team in emergency services.

“I think it’s true of firefighters, but I think it’s more true of police officers because they really have to have each others’ backs,” Webber said. “So I think the behavior, discrimination, here is much more significant. You really have to have trust.”

Mailman, May and the other officers named in the suit continue to work for the department.

The lawsuit accused the city of five counts: two counts of gender discrimination and two counts of retaliation, one each under state law and under federal law; and a count of violation of their constitutional right to equal protection under the 14th Amendment.

Mailman and May also are seeking an unstated amount of money in damages.