POSTED: Wednesday, June 25, 2014 - 4:17pm
UPDATED: Thursday, June 26, 2014 - 7:53am
BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS (KVEO NEWSCENTER 23) — A Brownsville firefighter with a high-risk pregnancy is suing the city following an alleged refusal to allow her to have a lighter workload.
Viviana Gaytan says the fire department and City of Brownsville refused to allow her to do less physically-straining duties, like desk work.
Gaytan's job is protected under the Family Medical Leave Act.
Brownsville fire chief Lenny Perez allegedly told her to rest at home until she has the baby, but this would mean using up her FMLA time and sick leave.
Gaytan's lawyer says the city is in violation of the law.
"I was actually a witness to it," said Brownsville Firefighters Association President Carlos Elizondo. "He said there will not be any light duty for Ms. Gaytan."
"The public that elects these city officials is gonna be outraged that women in this community are told to go home and told to stay home," said Gaytan's lawyer John Shergold.
"I'm not fighting this just for myself," said Brownsville firefighter/EMT Viviana Gaytan. "I'm fighting this for future mothers, mothers-to-be, so we can all have good equality. You know, this shouldn't be done. It's not right."
Gaytan and her reps say this is an expanding problem in Brownsville.