Colorado Firefighter Files Sexual Harassment Suit

The Colorado River Fire Rescue is facing a sexual harassment suit by a female firefighter who claims she was harassed virtually her entire ten-year career. Jennifer Taylor filed suit last week in US District Court for the District of Colorado naming the Colorado River Fire Rescue as the defendant.

The suit accuses a number of male firefighters of an assortment of acts, including

  • Changing the background screen on her computer from a picture of her family to pornography
  • Telling her women do not belong in the fire service
  • Making sexually explicit comments and conduct
  • One firefighter punched her during a training exercise

Taylor claims she reported the misconduct to ranking officers but the members were either not punished, not punished adequately, or only punished after she filed a complaint with the EEOC. She also claims that she was passed over for promotion and denied training opportunities on account of her gender and/or because she previously reported sexually harassing behavior.

The suit contains three counts: sexual harassment, sexual discrimination and retaliation, all under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The complaint does not state that Taylor left the department but news reports about the case refer to her as a former employee.

Here is a copy of the complaint: 2018 Taylor v Colorado River Fire Rescue

More on the story.

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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