WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Department of Justice announced Feb. 28 that it has filed a lawsuit against the city of Houston over allegations the city’s fire department (HFD) discriminated against two female firefighters.

“Far too often women are targeted and harassed in the workplace because of their sex,” John Gore, acting assistant attorney general of the Civil Rights Division, said in a statement. “Employees have the right to work in an environment that is free from sex discrimination and retaliation. The Civil Rights Division—under the newly created sexual harassment in the workplace initiative—will continue to work vigorously to protect employees from these workplace abuses.”

According to allegations, Jane Draycott and Paula Keyes were firefighters at HFD’s station 54. The two female employees were purportedly subjected to a hostile work environment based on sex. HFD’s alleged conduct in the case violates Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

“No employee should be subjected to a hostile work environment based on their sex,” U.S. attorney Ryan K. Patrick said in a statement. “We will aggressively protect employees who are victims of sex discrimination and retaliation and pursue employers who violate the law.”

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