Julie LaBlanc was shocked when she found a hard-core pornographic magazine under her 9-year-old son's pillow. But that wasn't nearly as surprising as where he got it: the San Jose fire station where she worked as a firefighter.
That discovery eventually led to the city finding dozens more sexually explicit magazines a dispute with the firefighters union. Can and should the city police porn and other behavior in a fire department?
It has led San Jose officials to offer LaBlanc $200,000 to settle her lawsuit alleging she was harassed on the job for complaining about pornography in Station No. 6.
$200,000 that I'm guessing that a city in California probably can't afford these days.
"We want to make sure we have a safe work space for all our employees. In the case of Ms. LaBlanc, it took a lot of courage for her to come forward."
LaBlanc filed suit in Santa Clara County Superior Court in April 2008 alleging her son had brought home a copy of a sexually explicit magazine he had taken from the men's room at Station 6 while visiting her at work. According to her lawsuit, when she returned to work the next day she found more than 60 other hard-core pornographic magazines in the station and spoke to her captain about it. The captain alerted the city's personnel department. An investigation failed to determine who was responsible for the magazines.
LaBlanc alleged that while the city was investigating the matter, she was shunned and taunted by her fellow firefighters, including one repeatedly refusing to give important work-related information to her. Seven months after her initial complaint, she said, a copy of "King," which bills itself as "the illest men's magazine ever," was left in a common area of the station where she would see it. LaBlanc, a fire engineer, has since transferred to another station.
When you tattle on co-workers one would think you might expect to be shunned and taunted. Yeah, yeah, I know the age old argument, women don't like to know that men like to look at naked women. It's a fact, get the fuck used to it. I'm led to wonder how much harassment was actually taking place before and how much was purely a reaction to the snitching about the magazines. I'm a firm believer of "if you don't like it turn your head." This is a perfect example, if you don't like it, it is a magazine, you don't have to open it and look at it.
If I worked in an office with all women, even if they were fat and ugly women, and they acted this way I would not sue, I might be annoyed but that's life. Sometimes people do shit that is irritating but it's not criminal and if I flipped the fuck out all the time I would expect immature people to do what immature people do; step up the harassment.
As far as the kid, if the kid brought it home that's his mother's fault for not paying close enough attention to him. Shouldn't be bringing your kid to work anyhow. It's a place of employment not a child amusement zone. Kids go to firehouses on supervised school trips not because mommy felt like bringing him. If he learns shit he shouldn't because you released him in a firehouse with a bunch of manly (smart... maybe not but who knows) men then you got what you had coming to you.
I'm so goddamn sick of this "pad everything" attitude in America these days. Just because your delicate sensibilities are upset by something does not make it wrong. People do have sex, this is how your child was created lady. If it weren't for religions perverting everything enjoyable there would be sex in the streets and nobody would blink. If you don't like something others are doing and it is not physically hurting you then bugger the fuck off. If it is mentally hurting you then you are mentally weak. Or at least mentally weaker than the person perpetrating. As far as this women being offended by men doing man things. Firefighting is a manly job, if you want to hang out there you should expect this sort of thing even more than anywhere else.
(Definitely Not The Woman In The Article)