sexual harassment

Chicago Agrees to $1.8 Million Settlement in Sexual Harassment Suit Involving 5 Female Paramedics

Sexual harassment remains one of the most troubling and disturbing issues that women will ever encounter in the workplace. The issue is especially prevalent in large urban centers like Chicago, where an estimated 62% of female paramedics say they have been sexually harassed while on the job. And now, as the result of a lengthy lawsuit, Chicago may finally be paying for its inability to rein in that behavior.

Ben Kesslen and Diana Dasrath of NBC News have reported that, following a three-year lawsuit, the city of Chicago has agreed to pay a $1.8 million settlement to five of the city’s female paramedics who say they were sexually harassed while on the job.

“The five paramedics, who have not been named publicly, filed the suit in 2018 alleging that the fire department reinforced a ‘code of silence’ that ‘ignored sexual-harassment complaints and failed to conduct meaningful investigations of alleged sex discrimination,’ according to the lawyers,” Kesslen and Dasrath reported.

Some of the allegations cited in the lawsuit, according to Kesslen and Dasrath, include “a paramedic who reported her ex-boyfriend, also an employee of the fire department, for stalking but was retaliated against; another woman said a supervisor pressured her for sex, asking her for a ‘no strings attached relationship,’ and another alleged that an ambulance commander grabbed her and forced her to grab his genitals.”

A byproduct of the #MeToo movement, the suit was funded in part by the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, a nonprofit organization that supports individuals who have experienced sexual harassment or retaliation at work to come forward to seek justice.

In a statement, Sharyn Tejani, director of the nonprofit, said, “we are very proud to have been able to help in this case. These paramedics want to do their job and help the community; enduring sex harassment should not be the cost of doing their jobs.”

Tom Cramer, one of the lead lawyers in the case, added that “based upon the inspector general’s report, which confirmed widespread discrimination and harassment, and the implementation of a new female-led administration, we are optimistic that change will come from the top.”

While the Chicago Fire Department has yet to issue an official statement, city officials stood in defense of the female paramedics when the lawsuit was initially filed, saying that the city “does not tolerate harassment of any kind.”

Related: For more recent diversity and inclusion news, click here.


Latest News

multi race business woman

New Report Shows Significant Increase in Female and Black Representation in the Executive Boardroom

Diversity and inclusion appear to be successfully increasing among America’s largest and most successful companies. The finding comes from a new report conducted by executive recruiting firm Crist Kolder Associates as part of its review of DEI representation in executive offices. Ariel Zilber of the New York Post reported that…

Taco Bell

Taco Bell Creates Business School To Help Underrepresented Groups Become Franchise Owners

Taco Bell and the popular fast-food chain’s owner Yum! Brands have entered the DEI arena with a new business school designed to help people of all backgrounds — and people of color in particular — advance into restaurant ownership. Jonathan Maze of Restaurant Business reported that “a select group of…

LGBTQ dog tags

US Government Will Now Allow Veterans To Identify As Trans on Veteran Affairs Medical Records

In another giant leap forward for LGBTQ+ rights and equality in the military, the federal government has announced that military veterans can now officially identify as trans in their official medical records. Brody Levesque of the Los Angeles Blade reported that Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough has confirmed that veterans…

Comcast NBCUniversal’s NBCU Academy Partners With 13 New Academic Institutions

Originally published at Comcast NBCUniversal ranked No. 6 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   NBCU Academy, NBCU News Group’s multi-platform journalism training and development program, significantly expanded its reach to 30 institutions by adding 13 new partners, NBCU News Group Chairman Cesar Conde announced. The new…