York settles with former firefighter who'd alleged sex bias in handling of her disability case


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YORK, Nebraska — York has settled a lawsuit filed by a former firefighter who alleged gender discrimination after she was fired after she could not work because of an off-the-job injury.

York's attorney Charles Campbell said former worker Lisa Peter, city officials and a federal judge met last week and reached the $100,000 settlement, the York News-Times reported (http://bit.ly/1ApTeTC ).

"Based on the potential damages, we thought it was reasonable to settle," Campbell said. "She originally demanded approximately $1 million - we thought this amount was fair."

He told the council, which unanimously agreed to the settlement, that her claim will be paid by the insurance company and won't involve any city funds.

"This makes it done and we can move on," Councilman Brian Leggett said.

Peter sued in 2012, saying a city administrator denied her requests for light duty after she broke her heel in a non-work-related accident. When she was not cleared to work without restrictions after she had exhausted her sick days, vacation and federal medical leave, she was fired and replaced by a man.

Her lawsuit said that three years earlier, the same city administrator cut the weekly hours of an ailing male firefighter to ensure he would not run out of leave. He also was given light duty.

The city had argued in court the discrepancy occurred because the man's illness was more serious that Peter's injury, no light duty was available for her when she was injured and federal law didn't require the city to create a that position.

Information from: York News-Times, http://www.yorknewstimes.com

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