LAFD to pay fireman nearly $500K to settle federal discrimination charges

LA Daily News

Daily News Wire Services

The Los Angeles Fire Department will pay $494,150 and institute anti-harassment training to settle federal discrimination charges filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the agency announced Tuesday.

Anthony Almeida, a firefighter/engineer since 1986, filed an EEOC discrimination allegation in 2007, alleging that he was continually harassed by fellow firefighters who used offensive comments of a sexual and religious nature, according to the EEOC.

An investigation found the harassment, which began in late 2006, appeared linked to a lawsuit filed against the Roman Catholic Church by Almeida, regarding sexual abuse he suffered by a priest.

After a co-worker learned that Almeida sued the church, several firefighters mocked him, using explicit and offensive religious and sexual epithets, the EEOC said.

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