ACLU: Sex-discrimination lawsuits against Harmony Fire District settled

PROVIDENCE – A pair of sex-discrimination lawsuits filed against the Harmony Fire District in Glocester have been settled, the American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island announced Wednesday.

The lawsuits had alleged that the fire district discriminated against two female emergency medical technicians/firefighters by terminating them in 2015 over concerns they each had raised about the differential treatment between male and female firefighters.

The lawsuits were filed in U.S. District Court by ACLU of Rhode Island volunteer attorney Sonja Deyoe.

As part of the settlement, which paid both women – Kimberly Perreault and Linda Ferragamo – $12,500 each, the department acknowledged that the women were qualified and performing their work in a competent fashion when fired.

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Both women had worked at the department for more than a decade.

The department settled without admitting liability.

“As these cases demonstrate, women continue to face barriers in male-dominated jobs,” said ACLU of Rhode Island Executive Director Steven Brown in a statement. “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.”

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