Female FDNY EMT Claims Gender Discrimination By Female Chief

An FDNY EMT has filed a gender discrimination lawsuit accusing a female deputy chief of going on a campaign to damage her career. Margot Loth filed suit on Saturday in US District Court for the Southern District of New York.

The suit claims that Deputy Chief Donna Tiberi engaged in repeated acts of discrimination against Loth ranging from vandalizing her sneakers to filing repeated disciplinary complaints against her. The complaint provides numerous examples of adverse actions but attributes much of Chief Tiberi’s animosity toward Loth to Loth’s serving as a witness against Tiberi in an EEO case.

Loth, who was Miss March 2019 in an FDNY calendar, claims discrimination under federal and state law. Chief Tiberi is not named as a defendant in the suit, despite being accused of creating a hostile work environment. Quoting from the complaint:

  • In or around March 2018, for example, Tiberi issued a Warned and Admonished notice to Loth and EMT Evan Perlzweig for an incident that had taken place the night before.
  • As both employees left the office, Tiberi followed Ms. Loth out of her office, screaming that Ms. Loth was “disrespectful” and a “terrible person.”
  • Ms. Loth told Tiberi that she (Plaintiff) simply chose not to speak with Tiberi outside of the workplace.
  • Tiberi responded by stomping her feet, clenching her fists, screaming “this is bullshit,” and storming away.
  • In July 2018, Ms. Loth was featured in the FDNY’s 2019 Calendar of Heroes for the month of March 2019.
  • After this occurrence, Tiberi on numerous occasions referred to Ms. Loth as a “calendar girl” to other FDNY members in a disparaging manner.
  • In or around November 2018, FDNY Paramedic Carin Rosado approached Ms. Loth about acting as a witness in her (Rosado’s) FDNY Equal Employment Opportunity case against … Tiberi.
  • Ms. Loth agreed to act as a witness in Rosado’s EEO case, as she (Ms. Loth) both observed and experienced Tiberi’s poor treatment of female employees, particularly female employees who were career oriented and assertive.
  • In another instance, on November 4, 2018, Tiberi prevented Ms. Loth from receiving pay after Ms. Loth worked overtime for the New York City Marathon.
  • Tiberi further attempted to refuse Ms. Loth’s request for annual leave, falsely claiming that Ms. Loth did not take enough days off and that employees with less seniority and who took more days off received priority.
  • Tiberi’s actions forced Ms. Loth to involve her union in order to receive her desired annual leave.
  • On or about November 15, 2018, Ms. Loth requested her annual leave for January 10 through January 20, 2019.
  • On or about December 19, 2018, Ms. Loth reported for her interview as a witness in Rosado’s EEO Complaint against Tiberi.
  • Per FDNY policy, employees are entitled to four hours of overtime for EEO interviews. Ms. Loth submitted her overtime request; Tiberi had the authority to review, accept, and decline Ms. Loth’s timesheet and overtime requests, providing her knowledge of Ms. Loth’s engagement in protected activity.
  • In addition, upon information and belief, Rescue Paramedic Diana Dosantos, EMT Lizeth Brooks, Paramedic Marylin Arroyo, and Lieutenant Patricia Tanis also participated as witnesses in this EEO investigation.
  • Upon information and belief, Tiberi targeted all witnesses with retaliatory action after their engagement in protected activity.
  • The majority of these employees transferred from this station in order to avoid Tiberi’s discriminatory and retaliatory behavior.
  • On or about December 22, 2018, Tiberi denied Ms. Loth’s request for time off on New Year’s Eve, as well as Ms. Loth’s request for her annual leave of January 10 through January 20, 2019 on the basis that Ms. Loth did not possess the required number of hours necessary for the leave.

The allegations go on for 14 pages and 48 numbered paragraphs. 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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