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EEOC: HFD subjected female firefighter to 'hostile work environment'

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has determined that the Houston Fire Department subjected a female firefighter to a "hostile work environment" based on her gender.

HOUSTON -- The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has determined that the Houston Fire Department subjected a female firefighter to a hostile work environment based on her gender.

The EEOC says HFD failed to address the gender discrimination complaints coming from firefighter Jane Draycott.

In 2009, Draycott and fellow firefighter Paula Keyes complained about racist and sexist graffiti scrawled on their dorm walls at Station 54. Draycott later claimed HFD allowed and encouraged male firefighters to humiliate her when she later returned to work.

The EEOC is hovering over this, saying we re not done with all this yet, we re gonna see what happens, to see if the city in good faith is trying to fix this stuff, and at the same time, can we fix the problem done to this lady, said KHOU legal expert Gerald Treece.

Houston City Attorney Dave Feldman released a statement saying, ...without commenting on the merits, we believe that it is in the best interests of all parties for the city to seek resolution of this matter, both with Ms. Draycott and the EEOC.

The report paves the way for Draycott to reach a settlement with the fire department, or for her or the federal government to file a lawsuit.