“They made me hate going to work”: Hispanic paramedic sues FDNY for machismo, job discrimination and sexual harassment


FDNY unit.

Photo: Andrés Correa Guatarasma / Courtesy

Maria Miranda, a fire paramedic, is suing the FDNY and the city, alleging that male colleagues harassed her with sexual photos and date requests, and then retaliated when she declined, sending her to work in “violent” areas of the city. and forcing her to clean “dangerously” bloody ambulances.

A “men’s club” within the Department protected those co-workers and supervisors who allegedly harassed and discriminated against the plaintiff. “They made me hate going to work”, Miranda told The Post. “It breaks my heart, because I love what I do. I don’t want it to happen to anyone else. “

In particular, he denounces fellow paramedic Philip Jugenheimer, who often delivered an ambulance to him in the order of schedules. He allegedly began asking for personal dates and sending Miranda photos of her genitalia shortly after she joined Station 4 on the Lower East Side in December 2014, according to Manhattan Federal Court documents filed against him. FDNY and the city.

Around the same time, her boss, Lt. Jon Phelan, promised her prime hours and overtime if she went out with him. He then allegedly withheld her time sheets, yelled at her and stalked her when she refused, according to court documents.

FDNY allegedly did not keep the allegations confidential, repeatedly stated that Miranda’s concerns were “unfounded” despite multiple witnesses, and did little more than change some of the defendants’ shifts, says the lawsuit.

The abuse got so bad for Miranda (42) that when a supervisor reported Phelan’s alleged abuse to the FDNY’s Equal Employment Opportunity office, he began a “campaign of abuse” that still affects her, accuses in the lawsuit.

A friend of Phelan’s, Lieutenant James Scordus, who currently faces other sexual abuse charges For allegedly touching a NYPD officer in Brooklyn inappropriately in 2019, he also denied Miranda overtime and refused to keep his ambulance stocked with vital medications, according to the complaint.

“New York City prides itself on its strong anti-harassment and retaliation laws… It is time for the City to start living up to its own standards and protect victims of harassment and retaliation instead of covering up for the perpetrators, ”said plaintiff attorney Denise Schulman.

The city said it would review the complaint. The denounced colleagues have not commented. Miranda, who is still employed by FDNY, seeks unspecified compensation. “If I go, they win,” he said.