Document 6H: "Woman Puts Heat on Fire Dep't," Labor Pains, 1, no. 1 (August 1975), p. 5.

woman puts
on fire dep't

   Ithaca women are not entirely alone in fighting sexual harassment on the job. A Gainesville, Florida woman actively protested when fired from her job with the Fire Department for resisting the sexual advances of her boss.

   Floretta Allen said "no" when her supervisor said he would raise her salary if she submitted to him. She reported the insult to city officials who did nothing until similar incidents were reported by other employees and by some firemen's wives.

   The city then "investigated" the case, concluding Allen had "provoked" the incident. City Commissioner Russel Ramsey said, "Women would be less likely to be raped if they didn't wear miniskirts."

   Enraged at the publicity about his gross behavior, Allen's boss then fired her. She was further harassed by efforts to deny her unemployment compensation.

   It was then that many groups, including the local chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW), came to her aid. Despite this, support was significantly hurt by city threats. Allen's reaction to all this is that women are tired of being harassed and must join together to fight male oppression of working women.


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