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Ind. division chief files gender discrimination lawsuit over fire investigations

Kokomo Division Chief Glenda Myers claims male employees, who are not certified fire investigators, are regularly sent to investigate fires


Kokomo Fire Department/Facebook

By Tyler Juranovich
Kokomo Tribune

KOKOMO, Ind. — A female Kokomo Fire Department employee is suing the city of Kokomo in federal court over alleged gender discrimination.

Glenda Myers, the division chief of fire investigation for KFD, is alleging the city is discriminating against her in both treatment and pay because she is a female and as retaliation for her previously filing a gender discrimination complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2018.

Myers, with her attorneys John Haskin and Craig Williams of the Indianapolis-based John H. Haskin & Associates, filed a complaint in August in the United States District Court Southern District of Indiana seeking lost wages and benefits, damages, interest and attorneys’ fees.

In the lawsuit, Myers alleges the city is going against department policy and regularly refuses to dispatch Myers to investigate the cause of some fires. Instead, Myers alleges the city “routinely” sends male employees who are not certified fire investigators.

In doing so, the lawsuit alleges, Myers is losing out on thousands of dollars in pay.

Division chiefs, according to the lawsuit, work standard 40-hour work weeks Monday through Friday but are on call 24/7, which could result in thousands of dollars in overtime a year.

In addition, the lawsuit alleges Myers is required to conduct site plan reviews of new developments when males employed as fire investigators before Myers were not required to do so.

“Defendant (city of Kokomo ) gives more favorable treatment to similarly-situated male employees as well as to junior, less qualified male employees,” the lawsuit alleges.

In a formal response to Myers’ complaint, the city of Kokomo is denying all allegations of discrimination and wrongdoing.

Notably, it states Myers’ complaint to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2018 was dismissed by the federal agency on the grounds it was “unable to conclude that the information obtained established violation of the statutes.”

The city also claims that department policy states the fire investigator does not need to be dispatched to a fire if a shift supervisor or officer can determine the origin and cause of a fire.

The lawsuit is still in litigation. A jury trial is scheduled for June 10, 2025.

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