Atlanta Captain Alleges Gender Discrimination and Retaliation

An Atlanta Fire Captain who was suspended for fifteen days over patient care issues, has filed suit claiming her discipline and the city’s failure to promote her to an EMS supervisor’s position was retaliation for a gender discrimination complaint she filed. Captain Andrea Nicholle Brock filed suit in US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia alleging gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and retaliation.

Captain Brock claims that on May 24, 2017, she informed an assistant chief that men were being treated more favorably that women. On June 5, 2017 she was accused of multiple patient care violations by the city’s medical director. The charges were sustained and she was suspended for 15 days on October 9, 2017. She appealed the discipline to the civil service board, and in 2020 the board overturned the discipline.

Shortly after the civil service board reversed her discipline, Captain Brock applied for a promotion to EMS Supervisor. At the time, the department was seeking to fill six vacancies. Quoting from the complaint:

  • Plaintiff was not selected for any of the six vacancies.
  • All six vacancies were filled by male candidates.
  • Defendant claims Plaintiff was not selected because she did not follow the formal application process for the March 2020 vacancies.
  • Upon information and belief, at least three of the six selectees did not follow the formal application process for the March 2020 vacancies.
  • Upon information and belief, Plaintiff is clearly more qualified than at least five of the six selectees for the March 2020 vacancies based on her education, experience, and job performance history with Defendant.

The complaints includes four counts:

  • gender discrimination: failure to promote
  • gender discrimination: harassment
  • retaliation; hostile work environment
  • retaliation: failure to promote

Here is a copy of the complaint:

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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