From the San Diego Union-Tribune:

A jury found four San Diego firefighters who sued the city were sexually harassed after being ordered to participate in a gay pride parade. They also determined the group must split $34,300 in damages.

Jurors deliberated for about two-and-a-half days before reaching the verdict Tuesday in the case brought by firefighters John Ghiotto, Jason Hewitt, Alex Kane and Chad Allison. The firemen said they were subjected to sexually charged conduct and lewd comments while riding a fire engine in the July 2007 parade.

City attorneys said they will appeal the verdict.

Jurors were required to determine if the firefighters faced pervasive or severe harassment from spectators and participants…

San Diego’s News10 adds:

…In a retrial of their civil lawsuit, Capt. John Ghiotto and firefighters Jason Hewitt, Alex Kane and Chad Allison were awarded a combined $34,300. Ghiotto will receive the lion’s share — $14,200 for past and future lost earnings and an extra $5,000 for emotional distress.

The other plaintiffs were each awarded $5,000 for emotional distress — with Allison given an extra $100 in medical expenses.

“The amounts were a little low,” plaintiffs’ attorney Charles LiMandri said outside the courtroom…

Fair Employment and Housing Trifold on Sexual HarassmentThe Californa Fair Employment and Housing Fact Sheet on Sexual Harassment states this about sexual harassment (emphais added):

Sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to, the following actions:

• Comments, epithets, slurs, or jokes of a sexual nature; graphic statements about an individual’s body; suggestive or obscene letters, notes, or invitations

• Leering; making offensive gestures; or displaying offensive or suggestive objects, pictures, cartoons, or posters

• Unwanted physical touching or assault, as well as impeding or blocking movements

• Making unwanted verbal sexual advances or propositions

• Offering certain housing rights or privileges in exchange for sexual favors

• Threatening or taking adverse action (such as eviction) in retaliation for a negative response to sexual advances

Autumn Sandeen

Autumn Sandeen