Is Discrimination and Harassment Illegal at Work?

As we have reported in the past, there seems to be an ongoing issue with sexual harassment and discrimination among firefighters in California, as there have been several high profile lawsuits filed recently. Photo of employee handbook

According to Petaluma Patch, a lawsuit was filed in November in the Sonoma County Superior Court by a former Petaluma Fire Department firefighter alleging that she experienced “a hostile environment, retaliation harassment and discrimination based on her gender after she was hired as a firefighter/paramedic.”

The alleged victim says in her lawsuit that she was treated as a second-class citizen and was denied training available to male firefighters. She also claims that she was held to standards male firefighters were not.

The woman claims that she was retaliated against, singled-out and subjected to unequal treatment when she made her concerns known. She also claims that she was not provided a private shower, changing and sleeping area from other male firefighters.

The alleged victim is seeking damages for humiliation, mental anguish, emotional and physical distress and lost wages and benefits.

What Should I Do If I Experience Discrimination or Harassment at Work?

Discrimination based on gender is illegal. Male and female employees should be treated equally on the job. Additionally, sexual harassment in the workplace is illegal. This can include unwanted advances, as well as forms of quid pro quo and hostile work environments.

If you are experiencing these issues at work, speak to our attorneys so that we can review your case. We can determine if you may be entitled to damages and discuss your legal options.

Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob—Los Angeles employment attorneys