Alabama Firefighter Sues For Wrongful Termination

Marlin Slade Chappelle, a firefighter in the Leeds Fire Department who was terminated in June 2010, has filed a Federal lawsuit against the city of Leeds and its Mayor Eric Patterson alleging retaliation and discrimination. The action was filed last Friday in US District Court for the Northern District of Alabama.

Chappelle, a 10 year veteran of the department, alleges that he was terminated in retaliation for reporting that the fire chief and a fire captain were using city time to conduct outside business, and for complaining about alleged discrimination of a female employee in the department. The employee, Ashley Graves, filed an EEOC charge against the City.

Chappelle claims that on May 10, 2010, he sent a letter to Mayor Patterson and the Leeds City Council stating that he was being discriminated against and retaliated against, but the retaliation thereafter increased. On May 24, 2010 he was suspended and on June 7, 2010 he was terminated.

The lawsuit also alleges that Chappelle was wrongfully under paid for his job because he was not paid 5% above his base pay for having paramedic certification.

Here is a copy of the complaint. Chappelle v Leeds

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.
x

Check Also

Maine Investigator Claims Retaliation and Gender Discrimination

An investigator with the Maine State Fire Marshal’s Office has filed suit claiming he was denied a promotion in retaliation for his having testified before the state legislature on a pension bill, and on account of his gender. Mark J. Roberts filed suit naming the State Fire Marshal’s Office and Fire Marshal Joseph E. Thomas as defendants.

Florida Firefighter Alleges Retaliatory Termination and Whistleblower Violation

A Florida firefighter who claims he was fired after reporting the misuse of COVID related funds, has filed suit alleging retaliation and whistleblower violations. Kevin Nelmes filed suit against the Greater Naples Fire Rescue District claiming that he was wrongfully terminated earlier this year.