- Associated Press - Friday, January 6, 2017

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) - An Olathe firefighter has filed a federal lawsuit alleging that was sexually harassed and discriminated against for years.

Elizabeth Hinton filed a lawsuit against the city in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kansas, the Kansas City Star (https://bit.ly/2jj1do7 ) reported.

She said she was the city’s only woman firefighter for years after she was hired in 2006, and that the harassment was worse during and after her pregnancy.

“Well say goodbye to that body. That’s why I don’t date young girls like you. You’re too fertile,” Hinton alleged a senior department officer told her.

The suit also alleged that after returning to work post-maternity leave, male colleagues would make obscene comments about Hinton’s body and cow noises outside the room she’d use to pump breast milk.

Hinton filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission last May, alleging she was retaliated against as a result, including being given an unfavorable review for the first time. Hinton also said even though she had “excellent performance evaluations,” she was denied the same opportunity her male counterparts were given to participate in professional development programs.

After reporting sexual harassment to her supervisor, Hinton alleged she was told to let it go and that “they didn’t really mean it.”

The firefighter is seeking an unspecified amount in compensatory and punitive damages.

A city spokeswoman declined to comment but said in a written statement that it “takes matters like this seriously.”


Information from: The Kansas City Star, https://www.kcstar.com

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