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Webber v. Sagle Fire District

This case involves Robert Webber’s Title VII Civil Right’s Act retaliation claim against his former employer, the Sagle Fire District.  As the Sagle Fire District’s Fire Chief Mr. Webber received and investigated an employee’s (Katie Loper) allegation of workplace sexual harassment.  The investigation substantiated the employee’s sexual harassment claim which, in turn, led to Mr. Webber firing the harasser and writing an apology letter to the harassed employee.  The harasser, with the aid of a Sagle Fire District Commissioner (and friend), successfully contested the termination through the union grievance process and returned to work which, in turn, caused the harassed employee to quit the Fire District and sue the District for constructive discharge.  Within weeks of being informed of the harassed employee’s $1,000,000.00 constructive discharge lawsuit, the Fire District, for the first time in Mr. Webber’s career, subjected Mr. Webber to disciplinary write ups.  Mr. Webber contested those write ups and, in doing so, informed the Fire District that he viewed the write ups as retaliation for firing the harasser. In February 2014, the Fire District, without notice, “laid off” Mr. Webber and replaced him with a friend of the Sagle Fire District Commissioner who helped the harasser get his job back.

 

A copy of Mr. Webber’s Amended Complaint is available here.

 

During the discovery process the then-ranking Chairman of the Sagle Fire District’s Board of Commissioners admitted, under oath at deposition, that there was nothing inaccurate about Mr. Webber’s complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in which Mr. Webber stated “I believe my treatment is in retaliation for my protection of Ms. Loper’s rights against discrimination based on sex.” A copy of that deposition testimony and Mr. Webber’s EEOC complaint is available here.

 

Sagle Fire District subsequently agreed to settle Mr. Webber’s lawsuit for $335,000.00.


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