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County settles with female fire employee
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Forsyth County News

A Forsyth County Fire Department employee will receive $20,000 as a result of a settlement agreement that commissioners approved on Tuesday.

Deputy Fire Marshal Debbie Lindstrom filed a complaint of gender discrimination with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in April 2012.

Lindstrom contended in the complaint that she had been bypassed for a promotion in 2011 by a man with less experience.

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

The EEOC sent a letter dated March 22 stating it was "unable to conclude that the information obtained establishes violation of the statues,” but detailed her rights to sue.

Through an extension of the initial 90-day deadline, Lindstrom had until July 31 to file suit.

On Tuesday, the county commission voted 5-0 to approve a settlement agreement, in which Lindstrom must release all claims against the county.

The $20,000 payment includes about $7,000 for her attorney’s fees, a check for about $6,500 and an additional amount of about $6,500 included as wages in her next payroll payment, according to the agreement.

It specifies the tax responsibilities for each of those payments.

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