Hazing News

Updates on Los Angeles firefighter hazing allegations and suits

Feminist Daily News Wire
October 4, 2007

EEOC Steps In to End Los Angeles Fire Department Discrimination

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on Tuesday accused the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) of violating civil-rights law through a pattern of discrimination, harassment and retaliation against black and woman employees. Its findings came after investigating discrimination complaints from two anonymous women firefighters. The LAFD must now implement drastic reforms or face a possible federal lawsuit, reports the The Los Angeles Times.

The LAFD has paid out about $13 million dollars in a string of recent discrimination suits. Firefighter Brenda Lee sued over harassment and “hazing”, including having urine mixed into her mouthwash. Last week, African American firefighter Tennie Pierce won a suit filed after he was made to eat dog food by his white coworkers. Other women and minority firefighters have described being sexually harassed, “hazed,” denied transfer requests and promotions, forced to undergo excessive “training,” and retaliated against or ignored when they filed discrimination complaints.

Mayor Villaraigosa and other city officials have promised to cooperate fully with the EEOC and impose major LAFD reforms.

Media Resources: Los Angeles Times 10/3/07, Los Angeles Daily News 10/3/07

By Hank Nuwer

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily-- and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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