Law Office of Lowell Steiger

L.A. Firefighter Served Dog Food, Settles For $2.7 Million

Author: Lowell Steiger

Published On: November 10, 2006

An African-American Los Angeles Firefighter was served dog food by fellow employees. Upon complaining of this reprehensible and hurtful behavior to his supervisors, he was subjected to “verbal slurs, insults (and) derogatory remarks.” Firefighter Tennie Pierce sued the City of Los Angeles and for this degradation and settled his case against them this week for $2.7 Million.

The Los Angeles City Council approved the settlement in an 11-1 vote.

Amazingly, this lawsuit is just one of a string of recent employment harassment suits against the City of Los Angeles Fire Department. The Press-Enterprise reports that last month, the city awarded $220,000 to a firefighter who said he was sexually harassed by a captain, then suffered retaliation when he complained. In September, a female firefighter was awarded $320,000 because of her supervisor’s persistent sexual advances.

Bottom Line: Employers can’t sit back and let a harassing, abusive environment exist. They have a responsibility to their employees to provide a safe, harassment-free workplace and if they breach that responsibility they must, and will, be held accountable.

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