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Former EMS employee alleges sexual harassment

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By Laura Hagan

Alleging unfair treatment based on her gender – including wrongful termination, intimidation and abuse – a former employee of Oldham County Emergency Medical Services has filed suit.

Kristina Fredrick has filed a suit against the Oldham County Ambulance Taxing District, Oldham County Fiscal Court, Judge-Executive Duane Murner, David Thompson, president of OCEMS board of directors, Lance Vincent, former OCEMS director and Maj. Mike Heilman, acting OCEMS director.

According to the suit, earlier this year, OCEMS terminated Fredrick’s employment, due to involvement in an “alleged graphic and offensive conversation in the presence of other employees.” She claims she received a higher degree of discipline than other employees involved.

Many of the allegations listed in the suit involve Vincent, her former

supervisor.

Earlier this year, Vincent faced suspension, then resigned, after a sexually explicit e-mail conversation between he and an employee became widely circulated. According to copies obtained by The Oldham Era at the time, the two exchanged e-mails through private Google-based accounts.

Someone later forwarded the messages to more than 60 e-mail addresses. Members of Oldham County Fiscal Court also received packages from an anonymous sender, which contained eight pages of an e-mail conversation between Vincent and the employee, alluding to a sexual

relationship.

Fredrick claims Vincent made the e-mail correspondence available to coworkers and local officials.

In the suit, Fredrick claims Vincent sent the e-mails to manipulate her into continuing a physical relationship with him.

Fredrick said her failure to sign a release of claims against Vincent and other defendants is the reason she lost her job at OCEMS. In the suit, Fredrick claims it is common for OCEMS employees to have sexual relationships, and said fiscal court members have knowledge of it.

She alleges she has been sexually harassed since beginning her job with OCEMS, and claims though she lost wages and pension due to her termination, Vincent resigned, allowing him to keep some benefits.

Fredrick alleges she and other female employees suffered abuses in their job, as well as unequal terms and privileges.

She claims female employees were expected to participate in lewd and abusive behaviors they were subjected to by their coworkers and supervisors and male employees participated in the conduct that resulted in her termination, but it did not result in disciplinary action for them.

Fredrick requests a trial, compensatory damages, punitive damages, “redress the effects of the defendants’ unlawful discrimination,” recoverable costs and pre- and post-judgment interest.

According to court documents, David Bowles, an attorney for the defendants, filed a request to move the suit from Oldham circuit court – where Fredrick filed the suit – to U.S. District Court, because her claims are related to gender discrimination.

The defendants, including Vincent, seek dismissal from the case and deny Fredrick’s allegations.

E-mail us about this story at:

lhagan@oldhamera.com