A federal lawsuit was filed on July 10th, 2020 against former Chicago firefighter for sexual harassment, including inappropriate touching of a male paramedic trainee from Malcolm X College. The incident took place at Engine 126 firehouse, 7313 S. Kingston Ave. in Chicago while the trainee was having his dinner on the evening of June 20th, 2018.
Ex-firefighter Grabbed The Paramedic Trainee
William Regan grabbed the unnamed plaintiff according to the suit after making a series of lewd comments and remarks. The lawsuit is filed in US District court. The plaintiff was at the South Shore firehouse as part of his “ride-along” training to become a paramedic.
Regan allegedly asked the plaintiff if he wanted to take a shower with him and that there was a nice warm pool in the basement. The suit states that Regan asked the student whether he had ever swum naked and that Regan could teach him.
Regan placed his hand on the inside of the plaintiff’s leg and grabbed him very near to his genitals as per the lawsuit.
Battalion Chiefs Were Quick to Dismiss Claims
The plaintiff reported the incident immediately to firehouse personnel. They called four battalion chiefs, who were all quick to dismiss sexual harassment claims. One of the battalion chiefs allegedly claimed that it was all firehouse horseplay and that Regan was just goofing around.
The CFD personnel allegedly threatened the plaintiff to not report the incident to the police. However, the student called anyway which led to an alleged cover-up. One of the captains told the police officers who came to the scene that the student had no idea what he was talking about.
Other CFD members supported Regan and told the police did not know what the fuss was all about.
Proving Sexual Harassment in Illinois
Sexual harassment is a form of gender based discrimination which is unlawful. The legal bases for sexual harassment in the workplace in Illinois are codified by the Illinois Human Rights Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. There are various categories of sexual harassment civil lawsuits, which make it necessary to consult with an experienced sexual harassment lawyer.
A plaintiff is required to prove certain elements for a successful sexual harassment claim, including:
- There was unwelcome sexual harassment
- The harassment was based on gender
- The harassment was pervasive and severe enough to create a hostile work environment
- The employer is liable for the situation to some extent
Capable and skilled sexual harassment attorneys can help towards navigating a lawsuit and collecting enough evidence to prove a sexual harassment claim.