Thursday, October 29, 2020

NLFR target of sexual harassment lawsuit, wrongful termination claim

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NLFR Lawsuit

North Lincoln Fire & Rescue District #1 is the target of a sexual harassment lawsuit citing four incidents of alleged indiscretion in violation of employee policy against a worker who the tort claims was fired in retaliation.

NLFR Lawsuit 

CLICK HERE TO VIEW MEMORANDUM

CLICK HERE TO VIEW TORT CLAIM NOTICE

According to information culled from a report by private investigator D. Craig Stoelk of Stoelk Investigation and Consultation, LLC, of Salem, to the Lincoln City law firm Andrews Ersoff and Zantello, which is representing alleged victim Philip Rilatos:

On May 28, 2018, members of North Lincoln Fire and Rescue District #1 sexually harassed Philip Rilatos by putting up a poster in Mr. Rilatos’ dorm stating “the Homo is here.” They also filled Mr. Rilatos’ dorm with pink balloons and a large number of sanitary napkins with the appearance of being used. North Lincoln Fire and Rescue failed to supervise their employees, failed to enforce sexual harassment training and policies, and failed to resolve the sexual harassment;

On Aug. 21, 2018, following an investigation, D. Craig Stoelk issued a written report finding that the May 28, 2018, incident was sexual harassment and constituted “a violation of the employer’s policy related to harassment.” Mr. Stoelk also found that North Lincoln Fire and Rescue “failed to conduct a proper/thorough harassment investigation as outlined by the employer’s policy.” Mr. Stoelk further found that North Lincoln Fire and Rescue’s “shunning” of Mr. Rilatos after Mr. Rilatos reported the May 28, 2018 incident “is a clear form of retaliatory behavior;”

On April 18, 2019, after months of repeated oral and written requests, as well as a public records request, North Lincoln Fire and Rescue finally allowed Mr. Rilatos to examine the August 21, 2018 report via his attorney, but would not allow Mr. Rilatos to retain a copy. April 18, 2019, is the first day Mr. Rilatos had knowledge (1) that his sexual harassment claim from May 28, 2018, was substantiated; (2) that North Lincoln Fire and Rescue’s own investigation was improper; and (3) that North Lincoln Fire and Rescue’s retaliatory behavior against Mr. Rilatos was substantiated;

On April 23, 2019, North Lincoln Fire and Rescue terminated Mr. Rilatos’ employment as further retaliation for reporting a substantiated sexual harassment claim.

A tort claim, in common law jurisdictions, is a civil wrong that causes a claimant to suffer loss or harm resulting in legal liability for the person who commits the act. It can include the intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, financial losses, injuries and invasion of privacy, among other things.

“North Lincoln Fire & Rescue will not comment on pending litigation or employee matters at this time,” Fire Marshal Ed Ulrich said.

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Justin Werner & Jim Fossumhttps://lincolncityhomepage.com
This article was written and edited to comply with Associated Press style and professional journalism standards by Homepage's publisher and executive editor.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. What the heck…..Just another reason why the current Chief should not be in this position. You do not put up with this kind of treatmont of a fellow fire firefighter unless you agree with the idiots that did it in the first place……….Join with us and get this board right vote for Stuebgen, Blecketer, Cabal for the fire board. Let’s take back our town.

  2. I am ashamed and disappointed with the way this happened. It shouldn’t have in the first place, but for the target of the harassment to lose his job? Utter BS. Phil doesn’t deserve that.

  3. Aren’t you boys a little old for what would be considered a high school prank? It should not matter what his sexual orientation is – this is the 21st Century – grow up or quit being firemen, It would appear that North Lincoln Fire is going to be paying out some money on this one. In other words boys, it was a very stupid thing to do – Perhaps the little boys responsible should seek employment elsewhere.

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