Jury Awards San Jose BC $800k For Retaliation

A jury has awarded a San Jose battalion chief $800,000 for retaliation, while ruling in favor of the city on identical claims by a former fire captain.

Battalion Chief Patricia Tapia and retired Captain Debra Ward sued the city and several ranking officers in 2014 claiming they has been unlawfully retaliated against after settling a previous discrimination lawsuit in 2012. Chief Tapia and Captain Ward claim they were passed over repeatedly for promotions following the settlements because they had previously “opposed unlawful employment practices.” Here is more on the original filing including the compliant.

The jury handed down the verdicts last Friday.

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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