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Ex-fire fighter wins years long sexual harassment suit

Texas and federal law prohibit employers from discriminating against and harassing their employees due to their sexual orientation, gender or both. However, that does not mean that it never happens. In fact, sexual harassment and discrimination on the job occurs nearly every day somewhere across the country and at least some of the victims file lawsuits seeking restitution for the damage done to them.

For example, a former fire fighter recently won a lawsuit against the city in which she worked for the fire department. After a trial that lasted eight days, the jury entered a verdict in her favor in the amount of $806,000. She was awarded $545,000 for future wages that she would have earned if she had not been the victim of a retaliation and $161,000 for emotional distress, along with $100,000 in punitive damages.

The Rhode Island woman claimed that she was sexually harassed by another fire fighter. When she cooperated with the department in his "trial," other members of the department began retaliating against her for the fact that the officer who harassed her was fired (even though he was later reinstated). She also claimed that the fact she is a lesbian played a large factor in the harassment she received. The jury agreed that these factors created a hostile work environment that got so bad that it caused her psychological distress.

Like this woman, no Texas resident should never have to tolerate the type of abuse she suffered at the hands of her co-workers. Sexual harassment and discrimination might seem like fun and games to those perpetrating it. However, there is a real human being on the other end of it who is suffering needlessly.

Source: firehouse.com, "Ex-Providence Firefighter Shocked by Win in Harassment Suit", Gregory Smith, April 20, 2016

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