Fire capt. files grievance against chief after changing gender

Fire capt. files grievance against chief after changing gender

Fire Capt. Jamie Faucon says in her grievance her supervisor used incorrect gender terms when referring to her in conversations. Fire Capt. Jamie Faucon says in her grievance her supervisor used incorrect gender terms when referring to her in conversations.

March 1, 2006

By DANIELLE BANKS
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- A Knoxville firefighter claims she's being discriminated against because she used to be a man.

Fire Capt. Jamie Faucon has filed a grievance against Knoxville Fire Chief Carlos Perez and her supervisor, Mark Foulks.

She accuses them of depriving her of a take-home car, of reassigning her and cutting out her overtime because she is a transgendered firefighter.

Faucon also says in her grievance Foulks used incorrect gender terms when referring to her in conversations.

She says she never thought she would wind up in a situation like this but the actions that allegedly took place earlier this week left her with no other choice.

Faucon had surgery to change from male to female in March 2005. Before making the change, she says she spoke with several city officials and her co-workers were supportive.

Faucon's personal data change form notes her gender change was entered into the system in May 2005.

"I had worked the law department and Chief Ed Cureton, the former fire chief. They were very supportive. We went through the rigors of getting them to understand the situation, the medical terms, some of the legal aspects," Faucon says. "They were very, very supportive and I'm very appreciative for what they did."

Faucon is upset about having to move to a different office. She says that makes doing her job a lot harder.

She also says her take home company car privileges are now gone after working hours. She says she needs that to do her job in emergencies. Without it, she can't be on call and loses on-call pay.

"To not have a drive home vehicle, they cannot have you in a non-call status. There is no requirement for you to drive your own personal vehicle in an emergency situation," Faucon says. "I, on several occasions, had been called to respond to emergency calls. A couple of them were hauling the trailers and my car is the main vehicle for that on such things as the Hazmat trailer and the EMS trailers."

Lastly, Faucon complains about supervisors still referring to her as a he or a sir. Since she has legally changed gender from male to female, she wants the misuse of pronouns to stop. "The proper terminology should be she, her or ma'am. Not he, sir, or his."

She's asking to be returned to Fire Station 10 with a take-home car and to be referred to correctly by others in the fire department.

Representatives with the Knoxville Fire Department say they cannot respond at this time. City of Knoxville representatives had a similar response, also stating they are waiting for the proper paperwork.

A fellow firefighter, who even served as best man as Faucon's wedding 10 years ago, disagrees with her claim.

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