San Jose’s 5-Year Sexual Harassment Anniversary

Today represents the unfortunate five-year anniversary of a very painful situation for the city of San Jose. As reported previously in the San Jose Mercury News, 2008 was the year city officials terminated, or at least tried to terminate, a firefighter on charges of sexual harassment against female co-workers.

This misconduct included “unsolicited massages, kisses, birthday spankings, and other inappropriate touching and banter.” Such behavior clearly falls within the legal guidelines of sexual harassment. Yet, the firefighter union came to the defense of the accused firefighter, and ultimately argued that termination was excessive. This same firefighter had prior complaints involving issues of sexual harassment in 1998 and 2002.

When the firefighter was terminated, the firefighter’s union appealed and took it to arbitration. It is important to note that arbitration can also be used in ways the general public may be unaware of, because arbitration proceedings are conducted behind closed doors. In 2009, an arbitration award was issued stating that the city did not have “just cause” to terminate the male firefighter for sexual harassment. The city was also required to pay out wages for the years spent under litigation.

The city then chose to go to court to appeal the arbitration decision, and the firefighter union once again opposed this action. As a result, the case went all the way to the California Supreme court. In 2011, the court ultimately denied the petition to review and ruled in favor of the firefighter union. The city, now faced with the challenge of reintroducing this firefighter back into the workplace while simultaneously trying to minimize potential lawsuits, attempted to place the firefighter back into service in a way in which his interactions with female employees could be supervised. However, once again, the firefighter’s union objected and filed a charge against the city of San Jose with the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) in 2012. We are currently awaiting a decision from PERB. 

Having worked more than 17 years in the high tech industry, I can say that the issue of sexual harassment in the private sector is taken very seriously. If termination is required, it is done in a swift manner and without union interference. This is not only an issue of responsible and legally sound corporate governance, but such policies also foster and promote the kind of work environment that is conducive to professional growth and safe for all. 

In addition, by choosing all means possible to protect someone who would otherwise have been terminated without further thought in the private sector, the firefighter’s union not only exhibited poor judgment, but also created negative PR for unions in general. This same union also filed a formal grievance over the city manager’s attempt to clarify San Jose’s sexual harassment policy at co-ed fire stations. Incidents of pornography at fire stations have cost the city at least one $200,000 payout to a female firefighter.

The union should cease fighting for such causes that ultimately undermine their credibility. Firefighters are vital and appreciated city employees, and I can’t help but think that the efforts of their union would be better focused on negotiations that pertain to higher wages and benefits for its members who do good work throughout our community. 

The attempt to terminate this one firefighter alone has cost the city an incredible amount of money and time. Fees for outside legal counsel and the work hours that city staff dedicated to this effort divert resources away from vital city services. But even more significant than the tangible costs associated with such efforts, the psychological toll that workplace sexual harassment can take on employees must also be taken into account.

The city of San Jose prides itself on providing a safe and healthy work environment for all its employees. We can do better than this. We owe this much and more to the courageous and brave women who testified before the city council in public session. It wasn’t an easy task, and we honor their voice by doing all that we can to make sure this does not happen again.

Pierluigi Oliverio is a councilmember for San Jose’s District 6.

41 Comments

  1. 17 years in the high tech industry?  Weren’t you a bartender for a couple of years, you’ve been on the council for a couple of years, just exactly how old are you?  That seems like some fuzzy math to me.

  2. Dear Honorable D6 Councilmember Oliverio,

    First, the “union” doesn’t believe that sexual harassment in the work place is OK any more than a defense attorney believes that murder, rape and robbery in society are OK.

    The “Union” is compelled to represent its members to the fullest extent possible when the Employer brings charges and intends to sanctions employees in work related matters. It has something to do with vested rights and contracts, all that stuff you and your legally educated colleagues studied in law school now believe it is OK to violate through the ballot box. There is no difference between what the “union” is doing and what an attorney engages in when they chose to defend persons accused of crimes in criminal matters.

    It is very significant that the City lost at every level in this case all the way to the state supreme court. What is glaringly missing from your piece is exactly what the arbiters and judges were ruling on when they found that the firefighter was wrongfully terminated – care to fill in that missing detail?

    Another detail you overlook is that there is a process, a legal process that relies on THE LAW and precedent in making findings based on THE LAW. The process was carried out and you don’t like the result because the precipitating matter was a sexual harassment allegation. Murders, rapists, robbers, child molesters… sometimes go free on legal technicalities it is the legal process and that IS the way it IS.

    Besides all that, during this era where you, Sam,  Pete, Chuck, Madison , Rose, and Debra have engaged in political warfare against all City employees that has caused unprecedented reductions in the ranks ESPECIALLY where strength in numbers is CRITICAL to the employees SAFETY the Union feels compelled to defend an employee to prevent another loss.

    So Pierluigi, You are upset and believe that the Union is trying to use its influence in an inappropriate manner while representing a member that it has a contractual obligation to represent.

    How about the truly inappropriate influence you HAVE used to avoid any consequence for the illegal theft of campaign signs? I’ll admit you didn’t steal the Mona Lisa and it may have been a weak case with marginal jury appeal but it was a case none-the-less that shows the low level you will stoop to. It is an indelible mark against your character and it will not be forgotten anytime soon.

    But how about the time the fire department was called to your parents home after your mother and father had an argument over your Dad driving that turned into a tug-of war over the car keys and resulted in your father suffering a head injury?

    It was pretty clear to the Mandatory Reporter Fire Fighters on the scene that that was a case of domestic violence so the did what they were obligated to do and reported their suspicions to the police. While the police were responding you hustled your mother next door to your house and told her to stay put then obstructed and delayed the officers sent to investigate the matter.

    What did you do or say to the officers who responded? You didn’t know what happened? Dad is old he trips and falls all the time? I don’t know where my mom is? I’m a BIG SHOT CITY COUNCILMAN AND I HAVE THE SITUATION UNDER CONTROL?

  3. I read this editorial originally on the MN website (couldn’t come up with anything original for SJI P.O?) It seems there are a lot of pieces missing to this story, and to try and grasp what actually happened based on what is written here is impossible.  Why did the city keep losing in court over this termination?  What were they missing that the union was able to “exploit” in their arguments? If this is as cut and dry as it is made out to be in the article, what happened? Furthermore, whats the point of bringing it up now, in two different media outlets?

    • Marie, 

      You are correct on both points.  One, the city lost, not because the firefighters defended the sexual harassment, but rather the process.  Just like being tried in court, the due process must occur, in this case it didn’t and the union defended their member, which is not saying the condoned the harassment. 

      Two, why did PO bring this up now?  A cheap shot at the firefighters?  Or, perhaps he’s pandering to a certain subset of voters in preparation for his frun for mayor.  Either way, seems a little petty and odd to me.

  4. I can think of 5 cases at the police department where the city has botched the investigation and violated the employees rights, and the employee has got their job back.

    The city of San Jose has a long history of violating the constitutional rights of it’s employees, look no further then measure B.

    Thats why employees pay union dues, for lawyers.

    You need to move on Pier, the California Supreme Court made it’s decision and you lost.

  5. According to Oliverio, this guy had complaints in 1998 and 2002.  He got fired in 2008.  Did he think it was like the points against your driving record that decay over time?

    Wasn’t there a San Jose Fire Captain that got fired for falsifying expense reports?  My understanding is that he went out under a disability claim, and got a pension along with a tax exemption.  Ironically it was the guy defending the high rate of disability claims in this article:

    http://sjff.org/items/PensionArticle.pdf

    Oliverio is doing the dirty work, and will probably not benefit from doing so, but I think he’s on the right track.

    • S randall , There it is “According to Oliverio” that statement alone should clue you in to the the fact that you are only going to get 1/2 a story , and even less of the truth. ask Pierre if he was ever a part of a meeting discussing the Harassment of the Female Firefighter??? Because It is Common Knowledge that he was there. another thing Not everyone is interviewed in such cases , only the individuals that the City CHOSE to interview

  6. As stated above, this is nothing more than a cheap shot at the Fire Department.  Your hatred of these men and women is well known and well documented.  You engage in half truths, lies and innuendo.  How DARE you say that the “private sector” has dont their part to weed out this type of behavior.  That is a baldfaced lie.  You should be ashamed and disgusted with yourself.  This is the lowest and most unattractive type of behavior I have ever witnessed in ANY public entity.  We know where the Murky News stands, and you use it like a bludgeon to try and disgrace a great department, with wonderful and dedicated people. Boomerang time.  I have a family, a wife and 3 children who see me come home from a 24 hour shift tired, mentally exhausted from the calls I run, and hated by the likes of you.  You know NOTHING about the people who work for the Fire Department.  How do I know this?  Because if you did, you would immediately apologize for your slanderous and false statements, you would print an immediate retraction, and you would resign in shame from your position. You are an embarrassment to public service people nationwide.

    • If you work in the SJFD, then you must know something about this guy, and this case.

      Did this guy deserve to be fired?  If you can’t answer NO, then what is the issue?

      • Look around you.  There are plenty of people who DESERVE to be in prison.  Are they?  NO Why?  Because we have rights.  Just as anyone in the private sector, he had the right to be defended by the agency he pays his dues into.  It doesnt mean I agree with it, it means that the City sought to remove someone from employment without due process.  THAT is the issue. There are always two sides to the story, he had his day in court…the City lost. The guy who wrote this column KNOWS that…he was part of the problem.  To blame the Fire Department for his incompetence is also a major issue. The Citizens of this City want some sort of vigilante justice…..Why?  Because people like this City Councilmember sell half-truths and deflections to the voters.  Manipulation of emotions is what they do best.  Measure B is the greatest scam in San Jose History…maybe you will realize that sooner than later.  To bring the case to light in the SJMN NOW?  Thats not an issue?  Its the councilmember himself who should explain his motivation….not me.

        • My understanding is that the harassment began when a woman firefighter complained about some explicit porn that her young son found at a firehouse.

          Sorry, but my take is that this isn’t entirely about the city not following proper procedures.  This is about a woman being bullied, and the firemen and their union closing ranks to enable it.

          Here’s something that I found on “firelawblog” that describes a former firefighter’s take on what happened:

          http://firelawblog.com/2009/10/san-jose-to-settle-harassment-suit/

        • its obvious that you really dont know what went on and are just guessing ! The city AGAIN dropped the Ball in this case. By interviewing a select few instead of everyone with knowledge of said event. people came forward and were DENIED interviews on MULTIPLE Occasions! This city has an agenda all its own .

        • Two completely different cases.  The woman who filed the complaint, filed it multiple times within the system.  It worked too slow for her, so she went OUT of the system to seek satisfaction.  She got a settlement, the people in the Station (regardless of whether they were present, responsible, etc…) were disciplined.  Justice was served.  Was she ever asked WHY her son (under the age of 15) was in the upstairs mens dorm without her supervision?  Probably irrelevant at that point.  And no, she was not “bullied”.  Ever.

  7. @ S randall I work at SJFD no he did not deserve to be fired. I know the case well there were no kisses and there were no sexual harassment complaints in 1998 and 2002. Mr. Oliverio is throwing ass much sh*t at the wall and trying to see what sticks in the mean time he is slandering a person and revisiting something five years ago for what reason. This whole case never should have gone as far as it did but the City Manager and her Gestapo = THE OFFICE OF EMPLOYEE RELATIONS took statements from all parties and changed things around and basically lied and made a case out of no case. The arbitrator, the judge in superior court, the three judges at the appellate court, all saw through the lies and overturned it.
    The state supreme court said you have no case were not going to listen to it.

  8. Does San Jose Fire hire females right out of Girl Scouts or do they hire adult women? An adult woman allegedly up to the job of firefighter is supposed to be tough enough to see, hear, and experience everything from the disgusting to the heartbreaking to the terrifying. Surely someone actually fit for the job should be capable of handling something as inconsequential as the inappropriate advances of an oafish coworker.

    Of course, the first step toward handling the situation is putting the offender on notice, something that can be accomplished by saying something as simple as, “You have no right to touch me and if you can’t understand that then we’ll get a supervisor involved.” Once stated, then the next touching incident constitutes criminal battery—a matter that can be handled by supervisors or, if deemed necessary by the victim, the police (who would have no choice but to cite the offender into court).

    Stand up for yourself or shut up and take it—that’s SOP in firehouses, barracks, locker rooms, and everywhere else where physical strength and courage come together for a purpose. With women now part of the equation, policies have been put in place so they have a way to stand up for themselves that is every bit as effective as is a good right cross. But they have to counter swiftly and effectively, lest they wind up turning to more powerful others for help, just like little girls.

    Weak victims make weak cases, be they criminal, civil, or administrative. I think the question that needs to be asked is not what’s wrong with the firefighter’s union, but instead, what was wrong with the victim’s story?

    Our wannabe mayor is playing this up for political hugs and sniffles… hoping to turn the firefighter’s union into the latest incarnation of the DeAnza baseball team. Me thinks he’s going to strike out.

    • You didn’t seriously write this. Are you living in the dark ages? It is not OK to harass a woman ever under any circumstances. Even a first unwanted touch is not acceptable. “Shut up and take it”???? Where are you living? Saudi Arabia? Or are you in a state institution as a 290 reg? Men like you are what causes the belief that women deserve rape. Luckily you are rare. I pity your simplemindedness.

  9. Pierre , so sick of all your half truths and straight up Lies . YOU were specifically asked about Harassment and your Comment was “if you were not asked to speak , then you are not involved ” ! I guess you have a real short memory . It is no secret that you hate public safety in this city , but I guess we are to Blame for putting someone as unethical as yourself in office . I have seen you and your Elitist attitude around Willow Glen , and it just always amazes me , how it is so easy for you to put a spin on everything. First off the Firefighter was fired and then rehired with retro pay Because THE CITY Failed to follow procedures that they themselves put in to place . Secondly , The Union is Obligated to represent all members in good standing. third, THE CITY lost at every phase of the process , had to pay retroactively and had to pay attorneys fees. Residents should be in an uproar over your (You and the rest of your clown court)absolute failure of following thru on a sure thing. ot to mention the amount of monies WASTED on the ineptitude of the council and its attorneys.Lets see how many Millions of dollars , this Council will waste trying to hold on to “Measure B” ? It will be struck down because it is profoundly illegal , but the damage that you , the Mayor , and council have done will be felt for decades.

    • The point that keeps getting sidestepped is while it is the case that the union has an obligation to represent the fired union member, what did the union do to represent the interests of the harassed union member.

      My sense is the union left one member twisting in the wind or even acted against the interests of that member, while it pulled out all the stops to defend the interests of the other member.

      So what *did* the union do to mitigate the problem in the first place?

      • Again…two totally different cases.  The respective Unions represented ALL parties involved.  There is a policy regarding pornographic material in the Fire Stations.  This is not 1980, and were are not all related to Hugh Heffner.  No one got “twisted” anywhere.  They have the right to seek council OUTSIDE of their Union.  She did in her case, he did in his as well.  The Union defended the Firefighters in her case, just as they would have defended her.  NO one was shorted in representation….that is the point you constantly miss.  The CITY FAILED IN THEIR OBLIGATION TO PROPERLY DISMISS WITH DUE CAUSE.  Sorry about yelling, just trying to make if perfectly clear to you.

  10. “Incidents of pornography at fire stations have cost the city at least one $200,000 payout to a female firefighter.”  Talk about complete oversimplification of the case!  On one hand you’re chastising a man for harassment then you only share one tiny part of the story:  I believe it involved threatening behavior and harassment directed at the firefighter and her family.  Even the Murky News reported on that….

  11. @ S randall I work at SJFD no he did not deserve to be fired.
    I know the case well there were no kisses and there were no sexual harassment complaints in 1998 and 2002. Mr. Oliverio is throwing as much stuff at the wall and trying to see what sticks in the mean time he is slandering a person and revisiting something five years ago FOR WHAT REASON. This whole case never should have gone as far as it did but the City Manager and her Gestapo = THE OFFICE OF EMPLOYEE RELATIONS took statements from all parties and changed things around and basically lied and made a case out of no case. The arbitrator, the judge in superior court, the three judges at the appellate court, all saw through the lies and overturned it.
    The state supreme court said you have no case were not going to listen to it.
    Mr. Oliverio is a despicable liar that will do anything to put his name out in the city as the savior that should be Mayor.

    • My understanding is that the harassment began when a woman firefighter complained about some explicit porn that her young son found at a firehouse.

      Sorry, but my take is that this isn’t entirely about the city not following proper procedures.  This is about a woman being bullied, and the firemen and their union closing ranks to enable it.

      Here’s something that I found on “firelawblog” that describes a former firefighter’s take on what happened:

      http://firelawblog.com/2009/10/san-jose-to-settle-harassment-suit/

      The woman firefighter is also a union member.  What did your union do for her?

      • No where in that Blog does it state that he was a former “San Jose Fireman” . it just talks about the SJ mercury news article . it talks about “Generalizations” NOT San Jose specifically.

        • Did I mention “San Jose” anywhere in my post?

          I don’t know what you know first-hand either, but no one has answered my basic question.  Did the union do as much for the woman being harassed as it did for the man accused and fired for harassment?

        • They Represented Her as well a him . the city chose the path that they were going to take quite simply by Only interviewing individuals that they Specifically CHOSE , Not every body who had knowledge or information of said event. , was interviewed or even questioned . And yes Many people stepped forward and they were Denied at every step of the way . So maybe the Residents should start asking questions about H.R. Deals with theses things……..for real and not just how “the Merc” says happened , happened.

  12. Pier,
    As you know, nobody at the fire department is endorsing sexual harassment. They are endorsing making sure due process is followed. In the long run, it makes the system stronger knowing the checks and balances are followed, but you already know this. This was just a bit of your usual histrionics and theater to make a headline for yourself, just as all the mayoral candidates will no doubt be crawling over each other to do. Ironic that the same due process you decry for the firefighter is the same due process you seemingly avoided when you apparently were stealing your opponents campaign signs under the guise of taking down illegally posted signs.

    • Your statement “In the long run, it makes the system stronger knowing the checks and balances are followed” is wrong in this case.  When a person can knowingly commit harassment and get away with it, the system is broken.  You can talk due process all you want, this individual harassed three separate women.  The arbitrator ruled that with progressive discipline that he should have been warned first.  While progressive discipline policies allow for flagrant offenses to warrant more serious discipline up to termination, the arbitrator ruled that he felt progressive discipline was not followed.  That is bull ****, the things that this individual did as outlined by the article warranted termination.  The three women had to testify under oath and relive the harassment.  It is good that the council would not accept the ruling of the arbitrator even though it is binding, the arbitrator was wrong and the City Council took a stance to say this type of behavior is not acceptable.  I applaud them for their courage.  This just brings to light one of the problems with arbitration; the arbitrators always try to split the baby, wanting to score points for each side so they could be selected again for future cases.  In this case his score card must have dictated he owed one to the union side.  This offense warranted the firing, period.  For frustratedfinfan, you are way out of touch with your comments about women having to tolerate this type of behavior.  Those knuckle dragging days are gone and good riddens.  The women who were harassed were definitely harmed and their lives impacted and I think the Councilmember was trying to make a point on the anniversary of this incident that the system does not always work right.

      • Hi Pier. You—er I mean the “councilmember” certainly had no need to bring this up 5 years later. No one is saying that what what the fireman was accused of doing was okay. What they are saying is that the process of the discipline was not okay. Is this something that you will point out each and every anniversary? Did you point it out last anniversary and the one before that? Why now? Was it really necessary or is there some underlying reason you felt you had to do it? Explain?

      • FACTS, get your facts straight there was not three separate women harassed in this case, more lies and propaganda perpetuated by the cities office of employee relations. There was one truth twisting woman who took part in harassing behavior of her own that the city conveniently left out of their report. The same woman that after all was done the office of employee relations hired a private investigator to follow and watch her to see if she was above board with her stories and behavior.

  13. annejohannes,

    Thank you for your reply. I read it carefully before composing my response, a habit you might consider developing.

    Nowhere in my post did I state or imply it was “OK” to harass a woman. That you somehow found that sentiment hidden within my words suggests that something has impaired your reading comprehension, perhaps your biased education or your endocrine system.

    As for “shut up and take it”—the second half an otherwise accurate depiction of the traditional rule for coping in all-male environments, I can only assume that you omitted the first half (“stand up for yourself or”) because the notion that it, or any other form of personal responsibility, might also apply to a female is foreign to you. I, on the other hand, the allegedly simpleminded sex offender, made it very clear that I believe a woman suitable for the position of firefighter would be more than capable of using the rules and her personal rights to stand up for herself.

    You accuse men like me for the “belief that women deserve rape.” Exactly where can evidence of this belief be found? Certainly not in my post. In fact, despite my decades of experience in the most manly of environments I’ve never encountered this “belief.” Is it possible that it exists only in the heads of that tiny minority of flawed men who commit rape, along with the millions of idiot women who’ve been brainwashed by feminist hogwash?

    Lastly, you consider people like me rare. Finally you got something right, for rare it is the person unwilling to reflexively lower expectations based on race and/or gender. Part of being a firefighter involves the ability to get along with the wide variety of coworkers encountered in a station house environment. Anyone, male or female, who lacks the requisite assertiveness to handle the inappropriate conduct of a coworker simply does not belong there.

  14. Facts,

    What type of psychedelic were you on when you chose your pseudonym? It appears you confused “Facts” with “Fantasy,” as in your reply to the April 9th post of “observation” you accuse me of being “way out of touch” for opining that women should have to tolerate sexual harassment, something I absolutely did not state or infer.

    Where did you learn to read? In fact, based on a few other gems you offered, where did you learn to think? Despite your obvious comprehension of the application of due process, you apparently believe its checks and balances (encoded into law to protect the accused) come with politically expedient exceptions, there for the likes of you and your kind to deny to any accused person not to your liking.

    What I see in your post, as well as those of several others, is evidence of gross bias and unrealistic expectations regarding sexual harassment in the workplace. The expectation that females, once integrated into previously all-male work environments, should have an unconditional right to define what is and what isn’t sexual harassment demonstrates a disconnect with reason and reality that can only be attributed to the feminization of our educational system, for nothing short of a full press disinformation campaign could create such stupidity.

    The serious misconduct described in Mr. Oliverio’s telling of this episode—the unwanted massages, spankings, etc., which, according to your post, harmed and impacted the lives of the harassed women, constitutes grounds for criminal charges of battery and/or sexual battery—an avenue for victim redress beyond the reach of administrative protections. If the offensive behavior and infliction of harm was truly as black and white as it is now depicted, and yet not a single “victim” thought to bring about criminal charges (something even children frequently do), the question of after-the-fact embellishment deserves consideration, as does the wisdom of putting what were apparently defenseless females into that particular work environment. Of course, given the delusional state of our society, wisdom probably had nothing to do with it.

    • To Frustratedfinfan,

      Maybe it is the following quotes from your text that makes many of us form our opinion of you.

      “Surely someone actually fit for the job should be capable of handling something as inconsequential as the inappropriate advances of an oafish coworker” You really mean to call sexual harassment inconsequential.  No one should have to tolerate that, period.

      “Stand up for yourself or shut up and take it—that’s SOP in firehouses, barracks, locker rooms, and everywhere else where physical strength and courage come together for a purpose.”  Your quote says stand up for yourself or shut up and take it… really.  Many times it is people in position of authority who commit the actions or in this case a person in uniform.  Fortunately the laws have been put in place to protect the victims and change the archaic thinking you believe that a firehouse is just a boys locker room.  It takes courage for the victims to come forward and they deserve respect.
       
      “Weak victims make weak cases, be they criminal, civil, or administrative. I think the question that needs to be asked is not what’s wrong with the firefighter’s union, but instead, what was wrong with the victim’s story”  You insinuate the women were weak victims, apparently using your superior male knowledge to make that judgment.  This is not the 1970’s anymore.  I applaud them for having the courage to testify under oath.

      “Once stated, then the next touching incident constitutes criminal battery—a matter that can be handled by supervisors’  The laws on sexual harassment have been refined over the years and allows an individual to bypass the supervisor in cases like this.  Everything is not handled in the firehouse like the old days.  Wake up it’s 2013.  Since you seem to have your opinion on the law that you reference in your article, maybe a class on the legal implications of sexual harassment could enlighten you.

  15. Facts,

    When contrasted against the truly consequential risks of firefighting—things like death, disfiguring burns, crippling injury, and the myriad of horrors involved in rescuing and treating victims of tragedy, I do consider the “inappropriate advances” involved in this case to be inconsequential. As for the statement that someone “should have to tolerate that,” I never said it or implied it, but that hasn’t stopped you and other witch hunters from insisting I did.

    Were you capable of what used to be considered a 5th grade level of reading comprehension, you’d understand that “Stand up for yourself or shut up and take it” was my depiction of firehouse culture in the days when it was all male. You’d have also noticed I acknowledged the creation of new protective rules and policies providing female firefighers with the tools to stand up for themselves, provided they were strong enough of character to properly use them. Given that I know a good number of such capable women, it is my conclusion that women too weak to protect themselves don’t belong in firehouses, and most certainly don’t deserve to be called courageous.

    You applaud them for having the courage to testify under oath? Were the “them” in question not professional firefighters I might understand. I mean, I realize that testifying can be a daunting proposition for a cashier at a Hallmark store, but a firefighter—a person who rushes into burning buildings? Give me a break. (By the way, given your over-the-top sentimentalizing, there might be a future for you in greeting card composition.)

    My use of the plural term “supervisors” implied that no particular restriction exists. I’m in need of neither enlightening or training. You are in need of a course in remedial reading.

    • Frustratedfinfan

      Your quote “You applaud them for having the courage to testify under oath? Were the “them” in question not professional firefighters I might understand.”  Maybe this will help you understand. They were three civilian women harassed by a uniformed Firefighter. Just a fact.

      • FACTS, get your facts straight there was not three separate women harassed in this case, more lies and propaganda perpetuated by the cities office of employee relations. There was one truth twisting woman who took part in harassing behavior of her own that the city conveniently left out of their report. The same woman that after all was done the office of employee relations hired a private investigator to follow and watch her to see if she was above board with her stories and behavior.

        • Because the city of San Jose has never lied about it’s facts? They twist them everyday from pension reform to redevelopment, to negotiating labor contracts. The mayor lies everyday he opens his dirty mouth.

          HR took it’s direction from it’s supervisors in upper management and they lost.
          The supreme court of California ruled on this issue the city lost.

          Union miss direction, what about city of San Jose miss direction? Lies at every turn, violating employees rights, losing every court battle from pension reform to sick time buy out.

          The house of cards are crumbling. CAN’T WAIT.

        • Willie,

          In regards to the case the Councilmember was referencing in his article, not some of the other cases referenced by those posting comments – Yes there were three separate women harassed in this case.  All three of them testified in the arbitration.  If the arbitration transcripts are not sealed you can see for your self. A uniformed Firefighter / Inspector approached three separate women at different times with totally inappropriate behavior worthy of termination.  Your attempt at demeaning HR by calling them liars is typical union miss direction.

  16. Five years ago nobody cared what happened at the police department or fire department, until this mayor and city council decided to after it’s employees benefits to pay off it’s redevelopment debt.

    Now that the tide is turning and citizens are calling out these people, plus that fact they are losing all court battle in court, they bring things up from the past and blast the big, bad unions.

    Remember the POA are the people that go out into the city everyday and protect you. Patrol officers, MERGE officers, homicide detectives, gang detectives.

    There are two sides to every story, remember just because it comes from Pier, doesn’t mean it’s the truth.

    House of cards falling.

    “if there is no sunshine, then we will fight in the shade.”