Paul Derrick and Melody Jolly represented a local fire department and its chief in this action involving claims for sexual harassment, gender discrimination, retaliatory discharge, and First Amendment restraint in the US District Court for the Eastern District of NC. The plaintiff was a supervisory fire fighter/paramedic and was president of a local chapter of the International Association of Fire Fighters union. When she began to suspect that she was about to be discharged for various rule infractions and leadership deficiencies, she claimed that she was the victim of ongoing sexual harassment and gender discrimination. After she was discharged, she also claimed that the discharge was in retaliation for her complaints about harassment and discrimination, and also because of her support of and position in the union. In granting the defense’s motion for summary judgment, the trial court determined that there was no evidence of any unlawful discrimination or harassment directed at plaintiff and that she was discharged for failing to correct ongoing leadership deficiencies that had been discussed with her for at least a year. On that basis, the court dismissed the lawsuit in its entirety.
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