LA Fire Department Will Pay Nearly $500K to Settle EEOC Harassment and Discrimination Lawsuit
February 10, 2012
As Howard Law's Vincent Howard discussed in yesterday's Riverside employment lawyers blog, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it against the law for employers to engage in harassment or discrimination against employees based on national origin, color, race, gender, and religion, in regard to job hiring, termination, compensation, job advancement, training, and any other terms, conditions, or privileges of employment. Under Title VII, retaliation against employees who report discrimination is also against the law.
In recent Los Angeles, California employment discrimination lawsuit news, that Vincent Howard has been following, the Los Angeles City Fire Department will reportedly pay $494,150 to settle discrimination charges filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, EEOC, and implement massive anti-harassment training.
According to the EEOC's discrimination lawsuit, firefighter and engineer Anthony Almeida, a Fire Department employee for twenty-six years, alleged that he was consistently harassed by his colleagues at the fire station--who engaged in tormenting Almeida with deeply offensive sexual and religious comments.
An extensive EEOC investigation reportedly uncovered that Almeida's harassment began in 2006--after his co-workers discovered that he had filed a lawsuit against the Catholic Church, because of sustaining sexual abuse by a priest as a child. Several colleagues reportedly mocked him for the lawsuit and abuse, using offensive and explicit religious and sexual language. When Almeida complained about the harassment, the Los Angeles Fire Department allegedly failed to address the issue or put an end to the harassment. Instead, Almeida suffered retaliation from the Fire Department in the form of discipline, for his participation in another firefighter's EEOC investigation.
Following the EEOC's determination that there was reasonable cause that harassment, discrimination and retaliation occurred within the Los Angeles Fire Department, the department entered into a three-year conciliation agreement with Almeida and the EEOC, settling the case. Along with the $494,150 in monetary damages, the Fire Department agreed to provide anti-harassment training to all fire station chiefs and staff in the city of Los Angeles, as well as reinforcing its policies against discrimination, harassment and retaliation.
At Howard Law, PC we understand that suffering employment harassment, discrimination and retaliation can be difficult, stressful and emotional. As Costa Mesa labor and employment attorneys, we are committed to protecting the rights of our clients who have suffered harassment or discriminatory practices, and we are dedicated to finding a solution for your recovery. Contact managing attorney Vincent Howard, at Howard Law, PC today, for a free consultation. Call toll-free at 1-800-872-5925.
Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH): The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA)
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Religious Discrimination in the Workplace and Reasonable Accommodation, California Employment Lawyers Blog, August 18, 2011
Ralphs' Employee Sues for Racial Discrimination, Harassment and Wrongful Termination, California Employment Lawyers Blog, October 18, 2010
EEOC Sues Chapman University for Racial Discrimination, California Employment Lawyers Blog, September 29, 2010
Racial Announcement in Walmart Store Tells Black People to Leave, California Employment Lawyers Blog, March 19, 2010
Amusement Party Company Sued for Racially Hostile Work Environment, California Employment Lawyers Blog, February 26, 2010
California Court Overturns Female Firefighter's Racial, Gender Discrimination Case, California Employment Lawyers Blog, February 18, 2010
California Hotel Pays $500,000 in Racial Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Settlements, California Employment Lawyers Blog, February 4, 2010
Fish Seller M. Slavin & Sons Sued for Male-On-Male Sexual and Racial Harassment, California Employment Lawyers Blog, December 9, 2009