California Chief Sued for Sexual Harassment

A woman who claims she was sexually harassed by the fire chief of the Bakersfield Fire Department while both were employed by the city in 2017-2018, has filed suit against the city and the chief. The woman identified only as Jane Doe claims that former Fire Chief Douglas Greener began harassing her in the fall of 2017.

At the time Doe was employed as an accounting clerk for the department. She claims the harassment escalated in December 2017 prompting her to report it for the first time. She reported it a second time in March, 2018, which resulted in the initiation of a Human Resources investigation and her reassignment to HR.

In May, Doe learned that HR was considering transferring her back to the fire department, prompting her to go to her doctor who put her off on disability. She resigned last month. Chief Greener retired on June 30, 2018.

The suit was filed on February 4, 2019 in Kern County Superior Court. A copy of the complaint is not available.

 

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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