Illinois Fire Department Prevails in Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Suit

A federal court jury in Illinois has rejected the claims of an administrative assistant with the Cicero Fire Department that she had been sexually harassed and discriminated against on account of her race and ethnicity.

Maria Isabella Delgadillo filed suit in October 2011 claiming she had been subjected to offensive comments on a daily basis. Some of the sexual and ethnicity-based comments were directed towards her personally, while others were directed towards persons of other races by white male employees of the fire department.

Delgadillo was seeking $1.5 million in damages plus an additional $2 million in attorneys fees. She is Hispanic, and alleged that derogatory comments were directed toward Hispanics, Mexicans and African Americans. Attached is an earlier ruling in the case that outlines many of DeGadillio’s allegations.  DelGadillo v Cicero

Cicero Town President Larry Dominick released a statement stating; “As the Town of Cicero asserted from the beginning, my administration vigorously enforces policy against sexual harassment and racial discrimination in any branch of Town government. It is a zero tolerance policy for such behavior.”

On March 23, 2016, the jury rejected her claims after a 10 day trial. More on the ruling.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 45 years of fire service experience and 35 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, 4th ed. 2022) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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