Jury awards $189,000 to two firefighters over workplace retaliation claims

TAMPA, FL &#8211 A federal jury on Monday awarded $189,000 to two Pasco firefighters after determining the local firefighters union and the county retaliated against the two men for filing discrimination claims.

Most of the verdict – $166,000 – was assessed against the International Association of Firefighters Local 4420 for publishing a legal memo in April 2008 that named the two firefighters and called their claims “frivolous.” The county’s portion of the award stemmed from an August 2011 order for the men to undergo psychological tests to keep their jobs.

Anthony Booth and Jerry Brown made their initial discrimination claims in 2007 and testified they had become “social pariahs” within the department. U.S. District Judge James Moody had earlier dismissed the discrimination charges, but he let the retaliation claims go to trial.

Both the county and the union are asking Moody to set aside the verdict.

From The Tampa Bay Times.

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