Recently, two former employees of a Fire Rescue Department in Florida filed lawsuits against it, claiming it was discriminatory toward workers.
The first lawsuit, filed by 27-year-old male, alleges the department gave a fire inspector's position to female worker that lacked the necessary credentials. The second lawsuit, filed by a female ex-worker, claims she was subject to discriminatory actions which created a hostile environment during her four years of employment. The female worker was fired in August 2009, vacating the fire inspector's position the first plaintiff referred to in his suit.
In his lawsuit, the male plaintiff states the department passed him over for a unqualified female counterpart "as part of a blatant attempt to conceal its previous discriminatory termination" of the second plaintiff.
Both lawsuits are seeking lost wages, attorneys' fees and compensation for the plaintiff's suffering. The male plaintiff is also asking the town to hire him as a fire inspector.
The lawsuits highlight the importance of following legal and anti-discriminatory practices, lest a business or town be brought into an expensive professional liability lawsuit.