Female firefighters expect to work together with their male counterparts to fight fire and save lives, but Dena Lewis-Bystrzycki, the first woman firefighter of South Country Club Hills in suburban Chicago, is now fighting for justice against some of her male counterparts who she claims sexually harassed her.
She alleges discrimination and retaliation after having to endure endless sexual harassment. In fact, she claims to have received a crude sexual invitation on her first day as a Country Club Hills firefighter, and that too from the chief at the time, as reported by the Chicago Tribune.
Plaintiff claims discrimination and retaliation
In the lawsuit filed by Bystrzycki’s sexual harassment attorney, she alleges that some co-workers laughed at the chief’s welcoming, which was the beginning of nearly two decades of harassment. The plaintiff claims that firefighters in the department watched pornography openly at the station. When she became eligible for a promotion her male counterparts were favored. They also retaliated against her for complaining about the sexual harassment.
A problem that will never go away
According to the lawsuit, 40 year old Bystrzycki is one of only two female firefighters in the department. She joined the Country Club Hills fire department in 1998. She filed her first sexual harassment lawsuit in 2012 and has now filed a supplemental complaint in which she alleges that lieutenants in the department have admitted that employees watched porn at the station. So what? According to many men and people how can one person change this entire culture?
Does this prevent them from saving lives?
Bystrzycki also claims that the father of a male firefighter, Carl Pycz, wrote the 2011 lieutenant promotion exam following which Carl scored the highest in the written exam. The lawsuit alleges that her complaints about the alleged cheating were ignored. OK, this is a problem for sure.
Following Pcyz’s promotion, he created a hostile working environment where the plaintiff was ordered to do menial jobs, was excluded from station meals, and retaliated against. Incidentally, the attorney for Country Club Hills, Daniel Boddicker, said that access to premium movie channels that showed nudity was terminated by the fire chief. He also claimed that an investigation was being conducted on the allegations of pornography.
Multiple instances of sexual harassment cited
Bystrzycki’s sexual harassment attorney claims this was one of the most shocking cases she has come across where those in authority fail to take corrective measures when complaints of sexual harassment are made against their department. The plaintiff claims as many as 45 instances of sexual harassment over two decades. Shockingly, the plaintiff claims that the bathroom door where she was showering was broken down by one of the male firefighters in 1999. In a reply, the fire chief is said to have termed it as ‘firehouse fun’. One instance describes how a male firefighter climbed into Bystrzycki’s bunk and requested her to cuddle up with him. Apparently he is not aware of the factual and significant information on this site right here. He should be!
On one occasion in 2012 a sticker with sexual connotations were placed in the woman’s locker while on another she found a ceramic doll with its hands covering the mouth in her locker. She also claims that one of the firefighter’s told her that there was a verbal order not to provide Bystrzycki with any assistance, which the plaintiff claims left her beleaguered and scared.
According to ijreview.com, Bystrzycki now claims she was suspended because of complaining too much about the sexual harassment which the sexual harassment attorneys on the fantastic website USAttorneys.com are aggravated over.