A female firefighter recently filed a lawsuit against her former employer, seeking damages for gender discrimination and wrongful termination.
According to the firefighter, she was the only woman on the team and told a company executive that she was uncomfortable sharing a hotel room with men. The executive apparently told her that she could sleep in a tent instead, but two days later, she was reportedly forced to share a room with her male colleagues.
The firefighter alleged that during her two-week stay in the room, the men made her uncomfortable and were rude and condescending towards her. After the executive allegedly insisted that she stay in the room, the firefighter complained again, and the executive reportedly proceeded to call her inappropriate names and fire her.
The company executive denied the firefighter’s allegations, contending that she was terminated for her disrespectful behavior toward her colleagues and U.S. Forest Service employees, as well as ‘gross insubordination.’ He also said that she never complained about sharing a room with her male colleagues.
Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it is illegal for employers to discriminate against you based on your sex. Additionally, the law prohibits employers from retaliating against you for speaking out against discrimination in the workplace. For example, if an employer fires you because of your complaint of gender discrimination, that could be grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit. If you choose to bring an employment law claim against your employer, you may recover economic damages, including back pay for the wages you lost due to your wrongful termination, as well as compensatory and punitive damages.