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City of St. Helena

The city of St. Helena has reached a $348,000 settlement in connection with a lawsuit filed by former employee Alison Mattioli, who said she was subject to “hostile, demeaning and disrespectful conduct” by members of the all-male St. Helena Fire Department.

The funds will be paid by the city's insurance company. As part of the settlement agreement, the city also agreed to “provide training for all City employees regarding diversity and workplace culture” within the next year.

Mattioli worked for the city from March 2015 to February 2018. She claimed that while serving as a management analyst at the fire department, four firefighters were disrespectful to her, with one of them screaming profanity at her during a staff meeting and another “verbally attack[ing]” her in front of a group of people.

Her lawsuit claimed that when she complained to her supervisor, Fire Chief John Sorensen, he allegedly told her the firefighters “don’t respect you because you’re a woman in a position of authority.”

This article has been amended to clarify that the settlement funds will be paid by the city's insurance company.

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