Schenectady Settles FD Sexual Harassment Suit for $500K

The City of Schenectady, New York has agreed to settle a federal court sexual harassment lawsuit filed last year by a female firefighter for $500,000.

Firefighter-Paramedic Jennifer Costa, a 14 year veteran sued the city claiming she had been repeatedly subjected to lewd behavior; passed over for promotion in favor of less senior, less qualified and less well-trained males; and retaliated against following complaints she made about harassing behavior.

Costa alleged that she was subjected to a range of offensive behavior and comments committed over an extended period of time by co-workers and supervisors alike. She claimed that the conduct even took place in front of chief officers who did nothing to intervene.

According to the Times Union the City Council agreed to settle the suit November 23, 2015 for a reported $500,000. At the same meeting, the council agreed to settle a police brutality suit for the same amount, bringing the total to $1 million.

Here is the story about the filing of the suit, that includes a copy of the complaint.

Here is more on the settlement.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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