ACLU files charges against Fairfax Co. Fire Dept. for sex discrimination

FAIRFAX CO. – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed charges against the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department and Fairfax County for sex discrimination.

The ACLU says leadership at the department and the county retaliated over sexual harassment complaints.

The charges are being filed on behalf of Battalion Chiefs Kathleen Stanley and Cheri Zosh, two of the highest-ranking women in the fire department.

“The FRD is charged with serving the public, but instead it’s punishing two of its very best,” said Gillian Thomas, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project.

According to the charges, the fire department retaliated against Stanley and Zosh after they spoke out about the department’s discrimination against female firefighters.

Stanley alleges that she faced ongoing retaliation during her tenure as Women’s Program Officer, which escalated after she resigned the post in protest on January 29. Zosh claims a pattern of abuse stemming from her advocacy on behalf of firefighter Magaly Hernandez, whose sexual harassment claims against the FRD were settled in April just prior to trial.

You can view the charges by clicking here.