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Firefighter Bias Suit Appealed


A California appeals court overturned a lower court's decision to award a black lesbian firefighter $6.2 million after she was allegedly forced out of her job with the Los Angeles Fire Department.

The second district court of appeal sided with Los Angeles city attorneys who argued that Brenda Lee did not exhaust all administrative remedies to keep her job, according to the Los Angeles Times. Her case has been remanded to the Los Angeles superior court for reconsideration.

According to the Associated Press, Lee claimed her superiors made derogatory comments to her and required her to do grueling drills without proper safety precautions. She also said that someone urinated in her mouthwash.

Even though she reported the harassment, authorities reportedly refused to transfer her. She was eventually terminated in 2005, the AP reports.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission concluded in 2007 that there was sufficient evidence to support her claims.

Lee's $6.2 million settlement was the biggest in a group of similar cases against the Los Angeles Fire Department alleging racial, gender, and sexual orientation discrimination. In total, the city has doled out more than $15 million.

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