Las Vegas Firefighter Alleges Retaliation For Reporting Sexual Misconduct

A Las Vegas firefighter who reported another firefighter for engaging in sexual misconduct in the firehouse in 2017, has filed suit against the city and IAFF Local 1285 alleging retaliation and breach of the union’s duty of fair representation. Eric Scheumann filed suit today in US District Court for the District of Nevada.

Schuemann claims he initially reported the firefighter to his captain, who failed to address the matter. He then reported the matter to a chief officer who told him he did the right thing by reporting it. However, another chief later told Schuemann that while technically he was right to report the matter, he should have addressed the matter directly with the other firefighter and not reported him to the chain of command.

Once word of the incident became known, Schuemann claims he was subjected to widespread harassment and retaliation. The suit alleges sexual harassment in violation of state and federal law; retaliation under state and federal law; a violation of the 14th Amendment’s equal protection requirement; breach of the union’s duty of fair representation; intentional infliction of emotional distress; and negligent supervision, training, hiring and retention.

Here is a copy of the complaint.

Schuemann recieved a $560,000 settlement from the city last year in a separate suit alleging FLSA and state wage payment violations associated with special project work he had done to develop ambulance specifications. More on the settlement.

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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