TOPEKA (KSNT) – Two former Topeka firefighters are suing the city.
Barbara Hack, an employee of the Topeka Fire Department for more than 20 years, alleges she applied for multiple promotions, including to be the chief and fire marshal. Both positions required applicants to have a minimum rank of captain for at least two years along with 20 years of firefighting experience. Hack held 24 years of firefighting experience with the TFD and held the position of captain for more than the required two years.
Hack claims the promotion was not given to her because she’s a woman. She also claims many referred to the TFD as a “good ole boys club” with women not being expected to be promoted above the level of shift commander.
Brentley Dorsey, an employee for more than 25 years, claims his civil rights were violated and that he was retaliated against for exercising his rights under the Federal Medical Leave Act.
Dorsey said he was discriminated against because he’s Black and has leukemia. He said he was not promoted to fire inspector, fire marshal or fire chief. He claims white employees with less experience were promoted instead.
27 News reached out to the city for comment before publishing this story about the allegations. A spokeswoman said, “The city takes claims of this nature very seriously and has full faith that the justice system will resolve this issue. Because the matter involves potential pending litigation, and in order to not prejudice the process, the city has no further comment.”