Civil Service Board says Transgender firefighter’s discrimination claims valid

Knoxville Police Department’s internal investigation branch and Civil Service Board officials denounced two high-ranking Knoxville Fire Department (KFD) employees and substantiated claims made by KFD Captain Jamie Faucon that she was discriminated against on the basis of her gender identity/expression. Faucon, who is transgendered, previously filed a grievance asserting that Assistant Fire Chief Mark Foulkes and Master Firefighter Mike Brown altered and reduced the scope of her duties and moved her office to a location making it difficult to fulfill her responsibilities, as part of a general climate of discrimination. Faucon also alleged that Foulkes and Brown made derogatory statements indicating their displeasure with having a transgender firefighter serve on KPD.

“I filed the grievance based on harassment, discrimination, loss of on-call pay, and removal of my authorized vehicle,” states Faucon.

Faucon, who continues as quality control officer for the organization, received word in early June that the grievance investigation findings were in her favor. Numerous witnesses were questioned in the investigation including not only KFD employees, but employees from other City/County governmental departments as well. Some cited “fear of retribution” if they cooperated with the inquiry, despite the presence of whistleblower protections.

The City also has anti-retaliation rules to cover those who make “good faith” complaints of job discrimination in order to “ensure that no excessive burdens be placed on a complainant which might discourage filing of complaints.” Faucon feels that Foulkes and Brown attempted to retaliate against her by smearing her performance in her last job performance evaluation. With prompting from the Civil Service Board, that evaluation was pulled and rewritten to reflect a more accurate description of Faucon’s recent work history.

Witnesses denied Foulkes and Brown’s assertions regarding requests from the Office of Special Events that Faucon not be assigned to extra duty and that they specifically asked for other KFD employees for those assignments. Among those questioned was Mickey Mallonee, Director of the Office of Special Events for the City of Knoxville , and Karen Massey, Knoxville Convention Center .

According to a report by WATE TV, Brown accuses the investigators of relying on dubious witnesses and maintains that he has assigned Faucon to more special events than any other employee.

The report concludes that witness statements regarding Faucon’s claims of discrimination appear to be true and that discrimination did indeed occur. While the Civil Service Board has no power to punish Foulkes and Brown, they did recommend that Brown receive diversity training within the next 90 days. Foulkes previously had similar training.
WhistlePig + Alfa Romeo F1

SHOREHAM, VT (September 13, 2023) — WhistlePig Whiskey, the leaders in independent craft whiskey, and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake are waving the checkered flag on a legend-worthy release that’s taking whiskey to G-Force levels. The Limited Edition PiggyBack Legends Series: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is a high Rye Whiskey selected by the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake drivers, with barrels trialed in their wind tunnel to ensure a thrilling taste in every sip.

The third iteration in WhistlePig’s Single Barrel PiggyBack Legends Series, the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is bottled at 96.77 proof, a nod to Valtteri Bottas’ racing number, 77, and the precision of racing. Inspired by Zhou Guanyu, the first Chinese F1 driver, this Rye Whiskey is finished with lychee and oolong tea. Herbal and floral notes of the oolong tea complement the herbaceous notes of WhistlePig’s signature PiggyBack 100% Rye, rounded out with a juicy tropical fruit finish and a touch of spice.

Keep readingShow less
by Spectrum Medical Care Center

Nurse Practitioner Ari Kravitz

When I started medical transition at 20 years old, it was very difficult to get the care I needed for hormone replacement therapy because there are very few providers trained in starting hormones for trans people, even though it’s very similar to the hormones that we prescribe to women in menopause or cisgender men with low testosterone.

I hope more providers get trained in LGBTQ+ healthcare, so they can support patients along their individual gender journey, and provide the info needed to make informed decisions about their body. I’ve personally seen my trans patients find hope and experience a better quality of life through hormone replacement therapy.

Keep readingShow less

Descanso Resort swimming pool and lounge area

Descanso Resort, Palm Springs' premier destination for gay men, just received Tripadvisor's highest honor, a Travelers' Choice "Best of the Best" award for 2023. Based on guests' reviews and ratings, fewer than 1% of Tripadvisor's 8 million listings around the world receive the coveted "Best of the Best" designation. Descanso ranked 12th in the top 25 small inns and hotels category in the United States. Quite an accomplishment!

Open less than two years, Descanso Resort offers gay men a relaxing and luxurious boutique hotel experience just minutes away from Palm Springs' buzziest restaurants, nightclubs, and shopping. Descanso has quickly established itself as a top destination for sophisticated gay travelers, earning hundreds of 5-star guest reviews and consistently ranking in Trapadvisor's top positions alongside brother properties Santiago Resort and Twin Palms Resort.

Keep readingShow less