Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

Joshua Weller alleged in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court on Aug. 30, 2017 that while he worked as a firefighter/paramedic in Lincolnwood, he saw widespread discrimination against a female coworker. After he stood up to the mistreatment, other men he worked with and male superiors responded by retaliating against him, harassing, and eventually firing him.

The defendants, which include Paramedic Services of Illinois (PSI), the village of Lincolnwood and “Jane and John Does 1-10,” filed a motion seeking to have the suit dismissed. On Jan. 18, Weller’s attorney asked to drop the portion of the suit against Lincolnwood, while keeping the portion against PSI. 

In his complaint, Weller says he was employed by PSI starting in October 2010, and the company placed him in Lincolnwood in December of 2015, where he worked until he was fired the following July. The woman at the center of the allegations in Weller’s lawsuit … no longer works for PSI.

“Mr. Weller quickly realized that, in the eyes of PSI coworkers and officers, (the female employee’s) only problem was that she was a woman in a fire department in which supervisors and coworkers thought it was okay for them to degrade and harass her on a regular basis,” the complaint reads.

“Faced with the choice of joining in the mistreatment of (the female firefighter) or treating her with the respect she deserved, Mr. Weller opted for the latter, and made it clear to his coworkers and supervisors their behavior was unacceptable,” the lawsuit says.

In addition, according to the complaint, Weller reported a superior’s drug abuse, one that caused him to fall asleep while in training and on duty, including while out on calls and began to nod off while assigned to drive a 7-year-old girl to the hospital in an ambulance. The superior also abandoned his crew inside a burning structure in which a floor collapsed according to Weller’s lawsuit.

Weller said in the lawsuit that “less than a month after [his] final complaint about the harassment of and retaliation against him … and just three days after he gave PSI the proof about [the superior’s] drug problem … PSI terminated [his] employment.” PSI told Weller he was being fired for violating a cell phone policy and for violating HIPAA. 

Attorneys for the village and PSI filed motions in December to dismiss the suit. One motion argued the defendant, who is a man, could not have been discriminated on the basis of his gender, therefore the suit fails to meet the pleading standard of gender discrimination. The other motion to dismiss notes that Lincolnwood officials wrote a letter dated Aug. 30, 2016, requesting PSI to reassign Weller to an organization other than the Village of Lincolnwood Fire Department.


thanks Dan