Former Montana firefighter files discrimination complaint
KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) — A former firefighter filed a complaint with the Montana Human Rights Network saying she was a victim of discrimination and was wrongfully terminated.
The Dec. 30 complaint by Presley Pritchard said other Evergreen Fire Rescue employees harassed her about photos she shared on social media, The Flathead Beacon reported.
The fire department denied the allegations.
The department’s board of trustees received a message in 2018 from a “concerned tax payer” about Pritchard's social media presence, which included images of the firefighter and paramedic in uniform, Pritchard's complaint said.
The department showed “very poor taste” by allowing the posts, which were characterized as “a family member posing practically nude” on Instagram, the resident said.
Pritchard has more than 82,000 followers on Instagram, where she shares images of herself working out. She also sells fitness and health guides and has sponsorships and promotes products.
Pritchard was demoted and told she would be terminated if she did not delete all social media posts related to her job. She did not delete any posts and was fired in August 2019, her complaint said.
The department takes all allegations seriously, Fire Chief Craig Williams said in a statement.
“While the Complainant never made or reported any allegations to the District while she was employed, the District hired an independent investigator to complete an investigation concerning the validly of the complaints,” Williams said in the statement.
"After a thorough investigation, no evidence was found to support any of the Complainant’s allegations,” Williams said.