Houston disputing sex bias allegations in federal lawsuit

HOUSTON (AP) — Houston officials are disputing allegations in a Justice Department lawsuit accusing the city’s fire department of discriminating and harassing two female firefighters because of their gender.
Mayor Sylvester Turner’s office says in a statement Thursday the city will defend itself, that it doesn’t tolerate discrimination or harassment and that city investigators looked into the women’s complaints and couldn’t substantiate some of the incidents that allegedly took place 10 years ago.
In the lawsuit announced Wednesday, the Justice Department said the two women at a station near Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport told of male firefighters urinating on the walls and sinks of the women’s bathroom and dormitory, scrawling vulgar slurs on their belongings, tampering with water in showers and disconnecting speakers in the women’s dorm so they wouldn’t respond to calls.

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