Firefighter sues department: I was fired because of hot photos on Instagram



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Firefighter sues department: I was fired because of hot photos on Instagram



Presley Pritchard, a former employee with the Evergreen Fire Department, says in the lawsuit that she was fired because of gender. The 27-year-old, who promotes her fitness activities and healthy lifestyle on Instagram, says she has been asked by the department to delete some of the posts where she is seen exercising or wearing a firefighter uniform.

On her website, Pritchard, who is also a personal trainer, regularly shares footage of her activities with more than 128,000 people attending. The department first warned her in 2018, telling her photos were very provocative, Fox News reports.



A board member reportedly received an email from a “concerned taxpayer” about her Instagram photos, after which she had to attend a board meeting in July and defend herself.

The board acknowledged that it had done nothing wrong, but also admitted that it was 'creating order on social networks'. But that never happened. Pritchard says she has kept up with the usual activities on Instagram, which include sponsored content. Tensions with the department's leadership continued as she began selling fitness shirts labeled “Firefighter as a Girl”.

She says the supervisor gave her permission to take photos with such a jumper, and the only request he had was not to see the department logo on any of the photos. She later received a disciplinary letter stating that she had violated two rules, which included dealing with conduct that disrupts the department and using the department's facilities for personal gain.

She was told she would be fired within five days if she did not delete all department-related content from social networks, and was additionally reprimanded for a co-worker whom they called only when needed.

In the end, she decided not to delete the reports after consulting with lawyers who told her she should not, Vice writes. But when she returned to work in August after a five-week illness due to surgery, she was laid off. In her lawsuit against the department, she now seeks compensation for lost wages, time and emotional stress she had to seek medical help.

Pritchard also accused the department of double standards. “More departmental colleagues have photos of them in uniform in front of fire trucks on social media. Most importantly, the 'Evergreen' Fire Department has no rules on social networks and has never had one. I've been a direct target for the way I look at a public gym. “

Chief Craig Williams responded to her claims, saying the department had hired an independent investigator to look into her claims. The investigation, he said, found no evidence that the department had committed legal violations.

Pritchard says she was contacted by an investigator, whom she approached her attorney. She was never questioned by an investigator, she said. Pritchard is now waiting for the state to begin its investigation, which could end in court if either party is not satisfied with the outcome of the investigation.

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A post shared by Presley Pritchard (@ presleykp.fit) on Jan 22, 2020 at 4:15 pm PST

Firefighter sues department: I was fired because of hot photos on Instagram

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