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Woman Houston Firefighter Harassed By Colleagues—Uniformed Forces Need Self-Discpline And Should Attend To Job At Hand

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has ruled that the Houston Fire Department failed to correctly address workplace harassment against firefighter Jane Draycott.

From the Houston Chronicle—

“The Houston Fire Department’s failure to properly address discrimination complaints by a female firefighter and subsequent retaliation subjected her to a “hostile work environment” based on her gender, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has determined….Draycott and another firefighter, Paula Keyes, found racist and sexist graffiti scrawled on the walls of their dormitory at Station 54 on July 7, 2009. The incident occurred after Draycott had complained to HFD officials of harassment.  The EEOC looked at two events. The first one was what took place after Draycott filed the complaint of harassment on June 29, 2009, and then was subjected, along with Keyes, to racist and sexist graffiti scrawled on their dormitory walls on July 7. The second involved Draycott alone. The EEOC confirmed Draycott’s allegation that former Fire Chief Phil Boriskie and other members of the HFD command staff allowed and encouraged “male firefighters to disparage and humiliate” her upon her return to work on Jan. 13, 2010….”

To her credit, Houston Mayor Annise Parker has taken a very tough line on this behavior.

Folks in Houston may recall just a few years ago when some in our fire department were in my view openly disrespectful to then Mayor Lee Brown.

Update—1/19/10—A Latino Houston firefighter has filed a complaint with the city claiming that he was hanged in effigy at a Houston firehouse and a ethnic slur was used against him.

When people join an uniformed force that is run by taxpayer dollars and is subject to civilian control, the expectation is that there will be discipline and respect for others from that force.

Hopefully Mayor Parker will continue to demand higher standards of conduct from our Houston firefighters.

January 18, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 5 Comments