The Journal Gazette
Thursday, November 11, 2021 12:40 pm

Fort Wayne seeks dismissal of retired firefighter's lawsuit

DEVAN FILCHAK | The Journal Gazette

Fort Wayne city officials have asked a judge to dismiss a federal lawsuit filed by a retired firefighter who alleges she was harassed at work because of her gender.

Holly Volz of Fort Wayne said she was harassed after she submitted a complaint in February 2018 against Deputy Chief Adam O’Connor of the city fire department for improper conduct after he spoke to her in a way she said was degrading because of her gender.

Volz said she was treated poorly at work after she filed the complaint because everyone had to sit through harassment training, according to the lawsuit.

Volz didn’t pass her work performance evaluation on her first attempt in December 2018 and was told to see a doctor and was then put on alternative duty, court documents stated. She said policy was not followed regarding her evaluation and she was perceived as someone with a disability in retaliation of the complaint she filed earlier that year.

The city denied the allegations of harassment and discrimination in a response filed with the court. It also denied that Volz is disabled.

Volz has asked for loss of income, back pay, compensatory damages, attorney’s fees and costs and other unspecified damages.

In the city’s response, it said Volz didn’t take actions to mitigate any possible damages or to take advantage of preventative or correction opportunities the city provided.

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