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Former fire chief in Iowa says her civil rights were violated

Although greater attention is being paid to how Iowa workers of all genders and sexual orientations are treated while on the job or when seeking employment, there are still instances in which employers are accused of committing various violations of the civil rights law. This can happen in any job, even city jobs where there should be specific guidelines and oversight. For people who have experienced harassment, violations of employee rights, and any form of workplace discrimination, having legal advice is paramount to moving forward with a lawsuit to be compensated and achieve justice.

A former fire chief has asserted that she was the victim of sexual harassment and was terminated from her job because of her age and gender. She filed a complaint regarding these matters in early February. The city administrator fired her in July 2017 three days after she was put on administrative leave. An appeal was filed with the Civil Service Commission because she said she had the right to a job with the department that was in line with her status as a civil servant. It ruled on her behalf. The city then appealed to district court. The case is pending.

According to her complaint, she says the city administrator crafted a hostile work environment for the year preceding her dismissal. She says that she was ignored and given "the silent treatment" to make her look bad in front of co-workers and elected officials; had her job performance discussed with people who were subordinates; had departmental issues discussed with her male underlings; had job duties assigned to others, including one assistant who is 30 years her junior; and she was subjected to false accusations. She asserts that she was bullied and sexually harassed with pornographic items sent to her office in late-2016.

People who work as first responders are putting themselves on the line every day. Whether they are male or female, they have the right to be treated fairly and free of discrimination and abuse. When there is mistreatment, discrimination, harassment of all kinds and eventual job loss, those who are affected should consider their right to explore the possibility of a legal filing.

Source: qctimes.com, "Ex-fire chief files civil rights complaint against Davenport, city administrator," Devan Patel, Feb. 21, 2018

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