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.

Check Also

Court Dissolves Chicago Fire Department’s 42-Year-Old Consent Decree

The City of Chicago and the US Department of Justice have agreed to dissolve a 42-year-old consent decree that has governed promotions within the Chicago Fire Department since 1980. The race-based consent decree governed the promotional process from engineer through battalion chief within the department for the past four decades.

Fire Law Roundup for June 27, 2022

In this episode of Fire Law Roundup for June 20, 2022, Brad and Curt discuss a court ruling upholding the termination of a Hunstville, TX firefighter; the indefinite suspension of a San Antonino captain for waiving a handgun at colleagues; a disability discrimination suit by an FDNY EMT terminated for not getting a COVID vaccine; the dismissal of a retaliation suit by a LAFD firefighter; and concerns about an uptick in lawsuits against fire while assisting police.