Municipal Liability

First it Was Backdraft, Now It’s the Lights And Siren Club

The San Francisco Fire Department has been in the headlines quite a bit lately, with allegations of sexual harassment leading to the transfer of 10 officers, the reported theft of fire department equipment by a firefighter, and two members accused of sexual misconduct in a moving ambulance.

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San Francisco Fire Addresses Harassment Allegations

The San Francisco Fire Department is transferring ten officers including four battalion chiefs in the aftermath of a six-month sexual harassment investigation at Station 2. The investigation follows harassment allegations that included a complaint that someone had urinated on a female firefighter’s bed and smeared feces in her locker.

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Florida Department and Chief Sued Over Hotel Closure

A Florida fire department and fire chief are being sued by the owner of a hotel that was ordered closed due to fire code violations. Kenilworth Properties, owner of the Kenilworth Hotel, is suing the City of Sebring, Sebring Fire Chief Brad Batz and C-T Protection Inc.

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Pensacola Chief Sues for Retaliation

A white Florida fire chief who was terminated after raising concerns about the treatment of an African American deputy chief by the city’s human resource director, has filed suit in federal court alleging race discrimination and retaliation. Matthew Schmitt served as interim fire chief in Pensacola from 2010 until he was terminated last May.

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Providence Fire Faces Another Sexual Harassment Suit

The Providence Fire Department is facing another federal court lawsuit by a female officer alleging sexual harassment and discrimination. Rescue Captain Danielle Masse claims she was harassed by coworkers and ultimately disciplined by the department on account of her gender, her sexual orientation, and in retaliation for testifying for another female officer.

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Illinois Court Rules Against Backpay Award

The Illinois Court of Appeals has upheld a ruling of the IL Labor Relations Board that overturned a $3 million back pay award to a firefighter’s union. In 2008, IAFF Local 3405, Oak Lawn Professional Firefighters Association, filed an unfair labor practice charge against the Village of Oak Lawn for refusing to bargain over minimum staffing.

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6th Circuit Rules Against Retired Kentucky Firefighters on COLA Battle

The 6th Circuit has ruled against a retired firefighter and a retired police officer from Lexington, Kentucky who sought to block efforts to reduce their pension COLAs. The case dates back to 2013 when Lexington Mayor Jim Gray sought to address a pension shortfall – not by funding the pension – but by reducing the pensioners’ COLAs.

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