Huntsville, AL- A female firefighter, who claims she was demoted for filing sexual harassment complaints against a co-worker, has reached a settlement with the city.
The Huntsville City Council agreed to pay Donna Grimwood $10,000 and reinstate her to the hazardous materials unit after she agreed to drop the federal sexual harassment lawsuit.
Grimwood alleged that in August of 2010, a fellow firefighter, who was a former boyfriend, propositioned her for sex and touched her breasts. She reported that incident, but an investigator could not corroborate the allegations, and instead determined the two could no longer work together.
Grimwood was then demoted and moved to another fire station, which also resulted in a decrease in pay. Should a victim choose, they can retain a sexual harassment attorney to recover any lost wages.
Last year, the city’s personnel board concluded that her demotion was not the result of retaliation for filing a complaint. Grimwood disagreed and filed a federal lawsuit, aided by a sexual harassment lawyer, seeking back pay and compensatory damages for “emotional distress, pain and suffering, and mental anguish.”
Sexual harassment cases can be hard to prove in court unless there are witnesses or direct evidence, such as texts or emails. Employees often encounter retaliation when they complain about harassment, but asexual harassment attorney will work to prove their client’s case and make sure they are fairly compensated for the actions taken by their employers.