Minnesota City Settles Maternity Discrimination Suit for $50k

The City of Little Falls, Minnesota has agreed to settle a pregnancy-maternity discrimination suit filed by an on-call firefighter for $50,000. Lisa Lintner filed suit June 30, 2020 claiming that the city’s refusal to award her pension service credit for 2018 due to her maternity-related leave violates the state’s Pregnancy and Parental Leave Act (PPLA).

According to the Morrison County Record, the department requires on-call firefighters to make 40% of the responses to quality for pension credit for the year. Lintner took leave from May 29 to July 7, 2018 and ended up making only 37.9% of the responses, three-short of the minimum needed. However, when the time frame during which she was on maternity leave is excluded from the calculations, she made 42.7% of the responses for the year.

Lintner claimed the failure to accommodate her pregnancy/maternity by limiting the measurement of her pension eligibility to the period she was available violated the PPLA. She also pointed to the fact the department made accommodations for men who failed to meet the minimum.

The settlement of $50,000 is being paid by the city’s insurer, the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust. 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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