Nixa’s first female firefighter is suing the department for harassment/mistreatment

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NIXA, Mo. (KOLR) – Dana Osborne, the first female firefighter hired by the Nixa Fire Department, alleges she was the victim of several forms of sexual harassment and general mistreatment.

Osborne’s lawyer, Heidi Karr Sleper, told Ozarks First reporter Jesse Inman that she’s suing the department as a whole, as well as the department’s board of directors.

In addition, Osborne alleges the captain is the main perpetrator of these acts, though she also holds the chief responsible. She is also making allegations regarding two firefighters.

Osborne specifically alleges her coworkers watched porn at work and sent her pictures of their genitals. She adds, she was critiqued on a different basis than her male coworkers.

The lawsuit was filed the week of February 2, 2020, but, according to Sleper, both Osborne and the people named in the suit still work for Nixa FD.

“At work, they mostly just give her the cold shoulder they ostracize her,” Sleper told Ozarks First.

“I think the ball is in Nixa’s court right now to make sure she is able to fulfill her job and continue to work while this is going on, and they protect her and do something about this behavior. So far, since this complaint has been filed, nothing has changed.”

Before pursuing legal action, Sleper says, Osborne made numerous complaints in the past couple of years that have “fallen on deaf ears.”

The Nixa Fire Department failed to return any of our reporter’s requests for comment on this story.

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