Washington County settles 2017 lawsuit for $67,500

The Washington County Board of County Commissioners has agreed to a settlement that will close out a 2017 retaliation and discrimination lawsuit filed by a former volunteer firefighter.

The $67,500 settlement agreement was signed between the county and Skyla Carter Jones.

Jones filed the suit in March 2017, alleging gender discrimination and retaliation for her previous reporting of alleged unlawful employment practices.

That 2017 suit referred to a previous lawsuit filed by Jones in 2015 that claimed she was put at risk after being issued fire protection gear that “did not fit” and that she was not issued a working pager or radio.

The suit also alleged she was denied training because of her gender and was instructed to clean bathrooms while male volunteers took part in training. 

Jones also claimed that disparaging remarks were made about her gender during her period of service to the department, which ran from October 2009 until May 2013 when she resigned, citing “concerns for her personal safety.”

Both Jones and the county ultimately agreed to dismiss that particular lawsuit; however, Jones 2017 filing claimed the county continued to discriminate against her for her gender and “punished her for calling the department out for unsafe practices.” The complaint stated since resigning, Jones had applied for both part time and fulltime positions with the county and that she had “been denied employment in favor of less qualified male applicants.”

“I am happy to have this resolved and to now have it behind me,” said Jones.

Matt Fuqua, attorney for the Washington County Board of County Commissioners, was unavailable for comment early Tuesday morning.