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.
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.