Texas town settles retaliation lawsuit with firefighter — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Texas town settles retaliation lawsuit with firefighter

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

The city of Grand Prairie recently agreed to settle for $150,000 in a retaliation suit brought by a firefighter who says top brass objected when he tried to protect a co-worker from harassment.

Capt. Paul Timothy Kuykendall, who has since retired, claimed he suffered retaliation after reporting that an assistant fire chief was sexually harassing Stacy Conaway, the city’s first female firefighter. When Kuykendall, who was Conaway’s supervisor, became aware of the harassment, he reported it to Fire Chief Cliff Nelson in an e-mail and in person.

The day after the assistant chief resigned, Conaway’s car was dented while it was parked in the fire department’s lot. Kuykendall was then brought up on charges of using profanity while talking to subordinates about the denting of Conaway’s vehicle. As a result, Kuykendall was suspended for 15 days (which was reduced on appeal).

The fire department later demoted Kuykendall and suspended him without pay for 30 days. He appealed, and in June 2007 the court ruled in his favor and ordered that he be compensated.

In July 2007, Kuykendall sued Grand Prairie and four fire department officials for more than $13 million. The settlement ends that lawsuit.

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