PROVIDENCE — Two sex-discrimination lawsuits filed against Glocester’s Harmony Fire District have been settled, the American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island announced Wednesday.
The ACLU filed the lawsuits in 2016 on behalf of two female EMT/firefighters who claimed that the department had fired them from their jobs because of concerns they’d raised about differing treatment between male and female firefighters.
Without admitting any liability, the department has agreed to pay Kimberly Perreault and Linda Ferragamo $12,500 each, the ACLU said. The settlement agreements also acknowledge that both women were qualified for the job and were performing their work in “a competent fashion” when they were terminated, according to the ACLU.
Perreault had served as an EMT/firefighter for the district for 12 years before being terminated in January 2015 for purportedly being “unhappy” with the fire department, according to the ACLU. Ferragamo had worked at the department for more than a decade before she, too, was fired after supporting Perreault’s complaints and objecting to her termination, the ACLU said.
Steven Brown, executive director of the ACLU of Rhode Island, said, “As these cases demonstrate, women continue to face barriers in male-dominated jobs. It is important that they feel free to speak out when they face discriminatory conduct and know that the laws provide them protection in doing so.”
The lawsuits were filed in U.S. District Court by ACLU volunteer attorney Sonja Deyoe.