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San Francisco Fire Department faces discrimination lawsuit

Our country has made remarkable leaps in an effort to bring equality to everyone regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation. Unfortunately, while the country as a whole is trending to a more progressive social atmosphere, some individuals are still behind the proverbial curve. If these individuals are in a position of power, such as workplace management, they may discriminate against others for many unfair reasons. We would all like to feel comfortable at our place of work, but workplace discrimination is a serious threat to some people.

A firefighter from San Francisco took a lot of heat for accidentally killing a victim thrown from a plane crash. The firefighter admitted to running over the victim, but stated that her vehicle was not the first to hit the victim. The firefighter also claimed that she could not see the body clearly because it had been accidentally covered with fire-suppressant foam. In a lawsuit against the San Francisco Fire Department, the firefighter claims that she has been blamed for the incident as retaliation for previous discrimination complaints. She reportedly believes that the Fire Department discriminates against her because she is African-American and a lesbian.

The firefighter goes on to claim in her case that the Fire Department manipulated evidence to make it seem like she alone was responsible, and also that the Fire Department leaked her name to be used as a scapegoat in the aftermath of the accident. She is seeking unspecified damages in the lawsuit.

As much as we’d like to believe that our society has progressed past petty issues of discrimination, there are still people who hang on to old prejudices. While it is not a crime to have these prejudices, it is a crime to act on them. If you believe that you have been wrongfully terminated, or that you are being treated unfairly at your place of work because of your race or sexual orientation, you may be entitled to compensation.

Source: Reuters.com, “San Francisco firefighter a ‘scapegoat’ in death of Asiana passenger: lawsuit,” Madeleine Thomas, May 9, 2014

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