Jury Awards Denver Captain $146k for Retaliation

A federal court jury in Denver has awarded a former captain who alleged sexual harassment and retaliation, $146,000 in compensatory damages.

Colley Fisher claims her termination in 2015 was retaliation for her complaints about the “boys club” atmosphere within the Denver Fire Department. The jury agreed, handing down its’ verdict on January 16, 2019 on a single count of retaliation.

Captain Fisher, who according to the complaint was the second highest-ranked woman in the department, claims the department has a long history of discriminatory behavior and that fire department managers treated her unfairly on account of her gender. She claims the retaliation began when she complained about being discriminated against.

CBS4 quoted Captain Fisher as saying “This is a big win for women in the Denver Fire Department and hopefully women in the City and County of Denver.”  Attorney John Culver, who represented Fisher, said the $146,000 represented emotional distress damages, and that when front- and back-pay plus attorneys fees are added in the tab will be closer to $1 million.

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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