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Female firefighter claims she was demoted because she’s a mom

Former firefighter Jessica Etzle is suing the department after she was allegedly told to “stay home with her young son”

By FireRescue1 Staff

MIDDLETOWN, Pa. — A former female firefighter is suing the department she worked for after allegedly being demoted for having a child.

Penn Live reported that Jessica Etzle said in her lawsuit that her post as a lieutenant with the Lower Swatara Fire Department was taken away from her in January 2016. She claimed in the lawsuit that the fire chief told her, “You have a 6-year-old son,” and that she “needed to be home and be a mother to her son.”

The same day, two male firefighters who also have children were promoted to lieutenant, according to Etzle.

Etzle said she was a member of the department for 11 years before becoming lieutenant in 2014. She claims the fire chief had no other reason to demote her and that when she complained, company leaders did nothing.

After a complaint was filed with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Etzle claims her colleagues “created an uncomfortable working environment for her,” prompting her to leave the department.

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