PA Firefighter Files Sex Discrimination Suit

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PA Firefighter Files Sex Discrimination Suit

LOWER SWATARA, PA  – A Pennsylvania volunteer firefighter, Jessica Etzle, is suing her previous fire department, claiming gender discrimination. Allegedly, the fire department demoted her for being a mother (a form of sex discrimination), retaliated against her for asserting her legal rights, and forced her to resign by creating a hostile work environment.

Ms. Etzle filed her discrimination action against the Lower Swatara Fire Department in US Middle District Court in Pennsylvania. Ms. Etzle had been an employee of the fire department for 11 years and was eventually promoted to lieutenant in 2014. In her complaint, she claims that in January 2016, the fire department stripped her of her post as a lieutenant after she told the fire chief about her need to be home with young six-year-old son. Additionally, the same day that she was demoted, two male firefighters, who also have children, were promoted into lieutenant positions.

Furthermore, Ms. Etzel alleges that the Lower Swatara Fire Department retaliated against Ms.Etzel her because after filing her complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC) in June 2016, her fellow firefighters “created an uncomfortable working environment” which became so unbearable that she ultimately stopped reporting for duty the following month.

Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it is unlawful for an individual to harass someone because of that person’s sex. Sexual harassment in the workplace may include requests for sexual favors, unwelcome sexual advances or sexual harassment and other physical or verbal harassment of a sexual nature.

While the law does not prohibit offhand comments, such as simple teasing, or isolated incidents that are not very serious, such conduct becomes unlawful when it is so severe or pervasive that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision. An adverse employment decision may take the form of the victim being demoted, forced into a job transfer, losing income, or being terminated.

If you feel you have suffered sexual harassment on the job or your college campus contact one of our Philadelphia sexual harassment attorneys at the Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC today for a free consultation.  Our attorneys have years of experience litigating claims of gender discrimination. Working together with our New York City sexual harassment attorneys, we have recovered millions on behalf of our clients who were discriminated against because of their gender. If you feel you have been discriminated against because of your gender, please give our attorneys a call, toll-free, at 1877 4NYLAWS, for your free consultation.


Call today to schedule a FREE sexual harassment or employment discrimination legal Consultation in NY, NJ & PA with one of our top rated employment law or sexual harassment attorneys here at the Derek Smith Law Group. You can reach us online or by calling 877.469.5297. Our New York City, New Jersey and Philadelphia labor & employment law attorneys handle a variety of cases involving sexual harassment, racial discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, and other employment-related claims. We serve clients throughout New York, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. We also have offices in Newark, New Jersey and Philadelphia, PA to serve you.

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