The City of Houston has agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by the US Department of Justice on behalf of a female firefighter alleging sexual harassment and retaliation. The settlement puts to rest a contentious case that originally involved two female firefighters that dates back to 2009.
The DOJ filed suit in 2018 on behalf Jane Draycott and Paula Keyes. The case had its origins in 2009 when Draycott and Keyes filed a complaint against male firefighters at Station 54. Thereafter, the harassment dramatically worsened resulting in both being placed on leave.
Keyes ended up being reassigned, but Draycott insisted on being returned to Station 54. Her return set the stage for a highly publicized protest of sorts where male firefighters disparaged her in front of ranking officers during what was supposed to be a team building exercise. She was subsequently granted a disability pension.
Keyes agreed to a settlement earlier this year for $67,500. Her claims were dismissed in April. According to KHOU11, Draycott’s settlement calls for her to receive $275,000. In addition, the city agreed to provide training on sexual harassment and retaliation to Houston Fire Department personnel and supervisors. More on the story.