New Mexico Firefighter Files Sexual Harassment Suit

A New Mexico firefighter who claims she was forced to resign due to a sexually hostile work environment has filed suit against the city, the mayor, the city manager, the fire chief, a battalion chief and a captain. Former Hobbs firefighter Caitlin Schultze filed suit in US District Court for the District of New Mexico.

Schultze, who was on the Hobbs Fire Department for just two years, claims that supervisors asked her inappropriately personal questions, pried into her personal life, and them made numerous sexually and racially inappropriate statements to her. When she complained the department initiated an investigation that resulted in disciplinary action against a ranking officer. However, the complaint alleges that the investigation was done too slowly. She also claims she was retaliated against during the pendency of the investigation and thereafter.

The complaint alleges Schultze left the department because she could not deal with the “constant bullying and hostile work environment, sexual harassment, and unwanted harassment” she was enduring. The three-count complaint alleges discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation. Here is a copy of the complaint. 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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