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Fire lieutenant wins $806K in gender discrimination lawsuit

Treating an employee differently in Texas because of his or her gender is illegal under federal law. However, in one out-of-state case, one female lieutenant at a fire department claimed she was a victim of gender discrimination there. After suing her employer, alleging general discrimination as well as sexual harassment, the woman recently won an award of more than $800,000.

In her lawsuit, the woman claimed that her male coworkers harassed, disrespected and discriminated against her according to her gender as well as her sexual orientation. She alleged that the municipality for which she worked did not deter this misconduct. For instance, the city is accused of engaging in name-calling and cursing, withholding help from the woman while officials were responding to health-related emergencies, and other mistreatment.

As a result of the discrimination she reportedly experienced, the woman claimed she suffered major post-traumatic stress syndrome. The woman's lawyer reported that the woman now suffers from depression and has to undergo therapy each day, and some of her personal relationships have ended because of the ordeal. The jury ended up awarding the woman a total of $806,000, which includes punitive damages totaling $100,000; emotional damages totaling $161,000; and lost wages totaling $545,000.

It is unlawful for employers to allow gender discrimination to take place in their workplaces. Workers who are mistreated because of their genders may rightfully file discrimination claims against the employers, seeking damages. In successfully litigated cases, punitive damages in particular may be awarded if the cases are found to involve egregious fault in the state of Texas.

Source: providencejournal.com, "In gender discrimination case, jury awards Providence firefighter $806K", Gregory Smith, April 18, 2016

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