Pittsburgh Reaches Agreement With Union on Residency

The City of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Firefighters IAFF Local 1 have reached a compromise on ending a residency requirement for firefighters. The residency requirement was incorporated into the city charter in 2013 for firefighters and police officers.

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California Firefighter Sues Alleging Race Discrimination

A California firefighter who was demoted from probationary captain to firefighter engineer, has filed suit alleging race discrimination, retaliation, constructive termination, emotional distress, and FMLA violations. JuDon Cherry, who identifies himself in the complaint as an “African American male”, filed suit against the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District.

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Fire Law Roundup – May 9, 2022

In this week’s Fire law Roundup for May 9, 2022, Brad and Curt discuss a larceny case involving a volunteer fire company in Pennsylvania, a drowning case in Maine, discipline of a Jamaica firefighter protesting a schedule change, a ruling upholding Idaho’s firefighter cancer presumption law, and a California lawsuit alleging age discrimination, retaliation and whistleblower violations.

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California Firefighter Claims Age and Whistleblower Discrimination

A California firefighter who was seeking a lateral transfer to the Newcastle Fire Protection District, has filed suit claiming age discrimination and whistleblower retaliation. Brian Thompson contends that as a result of his whistleblower activities while a member of the French Camp McKinley Fire Department, his application was handled differently and ultimately rejected.

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Maine Drowning Suit to Proceed

A federal court judge has refused to dismiss a wrongful death - civil rights lawsuit against the City of Portland and a firefighter, brought by the family of a man who drowned in 2020. Eric Cohen died on April 12, 2020 after he fled from police and jumped into the frigid bay waters.

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Jamaica Firefighter Suspended Over Protest

A Jamaica firefighter who held a one-man protest over a change in shifts has been suspended. Sergeant Leo Bennett held the protest yesterday, claiming that most of the firefighters in Jamaica prefer to continue working the 24-hour shifts they have been working since COVID began.

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Fire Law Roundup – May 2, 2022

In this episode of Fire Law Roundup, Brad and Curt discuss a ruling in Connecticut on the ability of firefighters to file suit on a grievance without union support; the suspension of a So. Dakota firefighter who when to Ukraine to assist in rescue efforts; a Memphis battalion chief who was ordered reinstated with backpay; an OIG report on HR issues in the Chicago Fire Department; and the settlement of a discrimination suit in New Jersey.

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Judge Dismisses New Haven Grievance Lawsuit

A lawsuit filed by five members of the New Haven Fire Department claiming the city failed to comply with an MOU on promotions, has been dismissed. Harry Bosley, Ernest Jones, Josue Vega, Jr., Christian Cordero, and Ian Cordero claimed the city was not complying with promotional timelines specified in a 2017 memorandum of understanding between IAFF Local 825 and the city.

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Progress Reported by Chicago Fire on Addressing EEO Concerns

The City of Chicago’s OIG has completed a follow-up report on its 2021 audit of the Chicago Fire Department’s discrimination and sexual harassment policies. The OIG concluded that while the policies themselves met the requirements of the law, they were insufficient to fully protect members who are vulnerable to discrimination and/or sexual harassment.

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NJ Firefighter Settles Discrimination Suit for $275k

A New Jersey firefighter who claimed he was subjected to “severe and pervasive” race discrimination culminating in his being passed-over for promotion, has agreed to settle his claims for $275k. Chris Williams sued the City of Vineland and Fire Chief Luigi Tramontana in 2019.

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