Austin Challenges Comp Benefits for Firefighter with Cancer

An Austin firefighter who was awarded job-related workers compensation benefits for cancer is now facing a court challenge by the city. Lieutenant Carrie Stewart was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015. She was awarded comp benefits initially, and that decision was upheld by a three judge workers comp panel.

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PA Firefighters Sue Engineers For Collapse

Two Pennsylvania firefighters have filed suit against an engineering firm and an engineer who they claim are responsible for a floor collapse that killed two other firefighters during a mop-up operations at a fire scene. Assistant Chief Greg Altland and FF Erik Swanson of the York Fire Department filed separate suits yesterday.

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Louisiana Firefighter Files $1 Million Race Discrimination Suit

A former Louisiana firefighter has filed suit claiming that he was forced out of his department after he complained about supervisors making racially insensitive comments. Wilson Clark filed suit last month in US District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana naming the Marrero Estelle Fire Department and several others as defendants.

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Michigan FD Sued Over Junior Program Sexual Assault

A Michigan fire department is being sued by a former junior firefighter who was sexually assaulted by two firefighters while she was participating in the department’s Explorer program. The plaintiff, identified in the suit as Jane Doe, filed the complaint on August 31, 2018 in US District Court for the Western District of Michigan naming Cascade Charter Township and the Boy Scouts of America.

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Wichita Settles Fire Investigators’ FLSA Claims for $155k

The city of Wichita has reached a settlement with six fire investigators who filed suit late last year claiming they were being improperly required to work 204 hours per 27-day work period before being eligible for overtime. The six investigators will split $140,000 while their attorneys will receive $15,000.

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Compensation For Work While On Vacation

Today’s burning question: We are combination department in which our full-time firefighters are permitted to respond back to alarms. We pay them their overtime rate for the extra time they work. Is it permissible under the FLSA to pay the firefighter overtime for returning to an alarm while we are paying him to be on vacation (ie. twice for the same time)?

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Ohio Chief Appeals Dismissal

An Ohio fire chief who was fired two weeks ago has filed suit to appeal his termination. Fire Chief Porter “Chip” Welch filed suit today asking the Pickaway County Common Pleas Court to reverse his removal from the Scioto Township Fire Department. Chief Welch was terminated by the township’s trustees on August 16, 2018.

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Arkansas Firefighter Loses Substitution-Related FMLA Claim

A federal judge in Arkansas has ruled that a change to a fire department’s policy on substitutions did not violate the FMLA, nor constitute retaliation against a firefighter who prompted the change. Eric Andersen filed suit last February against the Springdale Fire Department and three chief officers.

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Ohio Firefighter Awarded $3.35 Million for Sexual Harassment

A former Ohio firefighter who claimed she has been subjected to years of harassment and discrimination has been awarded $3.35 million in damages by a federal jury. Amie Morningstar accused the Circleville Fire & EMS Department, the City of Circleville, and Fire Chief Marc Zingarelli of sexual harassment, gender discrimination, equal pay violations, retaliation...

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Burning Question: Wilmington LODD Suit, Civil Rights Violation, and Deliberate Indifference

Today’s burning question: I saw your article on the Wilmington LODD lawsuit and do not understand why the families of the deceased firefighters would bother suing the city for a civil rights violation. Answer: Civil rights suits are viewed by some attorneys as a strategic “end around” the tort defenses that fire departments would typically raise in cases like this. Whether the strategy will actually work is another story.

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Oakland Dismissed from San Pablo Avenue Fire Suit

An Alameda County Superior Court judge has dismissed the City of Oakland from a lawsuit over the deaths of four people in fire at a halfway house last year. Judge Brad Seligman ruled that the state’s immunity laws shielded the city from liability despite criticism that fire inspectors did “too little too late”.

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Anaheim Firefighter Claims Gender and Ethnicity Discrimination

A firefighter who was let go prior to the end of her probationary period with the Anaheim Fire Department has filed suit claiming she was the victim of gender discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation, and discrimination on account of her Mexican ancestry. Anna Araujo filed suit earlier this month in Orange County Superior Court.

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