Lower Swatara Firefighter claims she was demoted because she’s a woman and a mother

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DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa.– A female firefighter who claims she was demoted due to her gender and having a child has filed a sex-discrimination lawsuit against the Lower Swatara Fire Department.

According to court documents, Jessica Etzle says that she was removed from her post as a lieutenant and in January 2016 told that “‘You have a 6-year-old son’ and she needed to be home and be a mother to her son.”

Etzle claims that two male firefighters who also have children were then promoted to fill lieutenant posts the same day she lost her position.

According to documents, Etzle claims she was a member of the fire company for 11 years before being promoted to lieutenant in 2014.

Etzle contends that she gave company leaders no reason to demote her and take away her safety education duties. However, when she complained about the demotion, Etzle says that company leaders took no action.

In June 2016, Etzle filed a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission saying that her fellow firefighters “created an uncomfortable working environment for her.” Etzle’s suit states that prompted her to stop reporting for duty the following month.

Now, Etzle is seeking monetary damages.