Firefighter Abuse Victim Receives Settlement from LAFD

A Los Angeles City firefighter has received a half-million dollar settlement following a sexual harassment complaint he filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Firefighter Anthony Almeida complained that he was continually harassed by fellow firefighters after they found out that he had filed a sexual abuse lawsuit against Catholic Church alleging that a priest had sexually assaulted him.

Almeida’s complaint alleged that the harassment began in 2006 after one of his coworkers learned about the lawsuit he had filed against the priest. Thereafter other firefighters began to mock and harass him by making deeply offensive comments of a sexual and religious in nature.

Almeida alleges that he approached LAFD management to complain about the harassment, but they took no remedial measures. Instead, he began to suffer retaliation from co-workers. 

The EEOC investigated the complaint and found that Almeida’s complaints were valid. A three-year conciliation agreement was reached, where the fire department will pay Almeida $494,150.00 and the department will also implement anti-harassment training to the entire department and update policies and procedures.

This agreement settled the case administratively, hence avoiding litigation.

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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