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FCFD employee mulling lawsuit

POSTED: July 1, 2013 12:28 a.m.

A Forsyth County Fire Department employee could launch a suit or seek to settle following a complaint made with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging gender discrimination.

Deputy Fire Marshal Debbie Lindstrom filed the complaint in April 2012, contending that she had been bypassed for a promotion in 2011 by a man with less experience.

The complaint, obtained through an open records request this week, states: “I was serving in that position on an interim basis and had more experience and training than the male selected for the potion.”

Lindstrom also wrote that she received a lower pay for doing the same job as three other men.

The EEOC issued its response on March 22, stating it was “unable to conclude that the information obtained establishes violation of the statues.”

However, the determination also includes a letter detailing her rights to sue, setting a 90-day period to file.

Forsyth County commissioners recently agreed to extend that time period from June 19 to July 31 to allow discussions about a potential suit or settlement to continue.

According to County Attorney Ken Jarrard, Forsyth presented its position on the allegations to the EEOC. Citing the continued negotiations, he said the county is “otherwise unable to comment.”

Reached Friday, Lindstrom declined to comment and directed questions to her attorney, Kristine Brown, who did not return a phone call.

Lindstrom was promoted in early March from arson investigator to deputy fire marshal.


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