Connecticut Dispatcher Sues Claiming Discrimination

A fire dispatcher in Connecticut who was terminated last year has filed suit in federal court alleging she was the victim of race, ethnicity, gender and age discrimination. Nancy Mayeda-Brescia filed suit yesterday against the Cromwell Fire District.

Mayeda-Brescia claims she was harassed on account of her Japanese ancestry, her gender, and her age, and then retaliated against when she complained. She had worked for the Cromwell Fire District for just seven months before she was fired.

The suit was filed in US District Court for the District of Connecticut. According to the complaint:

  • The plaintiff was the only person of Japanese extraction employed by the defendant.
  • The plaintiff was also the only female Dispatcher.
  • The other Dispatchers were non Japanese males, and were significantly younger than the plaintiff.
  • The plaintiff is highly qualified for this position, and has a significant amount of experience and education in this field. The plaintiff has multiple degrees, was among the first female firefighters in Connecticut, and has numerous licenses and certificates.
  • Throughout her time as a Dispatcher employed by the defendant, the plaintiff has been scrutinized and monitored more closely than her younger male non Japanese counterparts.
  • The plaintiff was subjected to harassment both by her fellow employees, agents of the defendant, and by her employer, the defendant.
  • Commissioners of the defendant spoke ill of the plaintiff, demanding that the plaintiff resign or be terminated.
  • The plaintiff requested that the harassment cease.
  • The plaintiff also requested that the defendant provide her the training that it provided all other dispatchers not of her race, gender or age.
  • The training the plaintiff received was inconsistent, often contradictory and not similar to the training given to other dispatchers not of her race, gender and age.
  • The plaintiff complained about this to the defendant. Rather than correcting the training deficiencies, the defendant blamed the plaintiff, monitored and punished her.
  • The plaintiff was terminated by the defendant on April 26, 2018.
  • The plaintiff was terminated in retaliation for her complaints to and about the defendant.

Here is a copy of the complaint:

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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