The suit also alleges he was targeted for taking part in union activities.
Dix is asking the court to rescind his discharge from the city and award damages for compensation and emotional distress as well and punitive damages.
Dix, a 25-year firefighting veteran, and other fire union officials were vocally critical of the city’s decision to adopt the cross-training model because of safety concerns. The city had been gradually adopting portions of the model for years.
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The remaining firefighters were placed on administrative leave. The city resisted a union request for bargaining following the council vote.
One firefighter joined the public safety officer program and the rest accepted a severance package, with the exception of Dix, who was laid off in June 2020.
Police officers who weren’t cross trained and police and fire supervisors who weren’t cross trained were allowed to remain, according to court records.
The suit comes after a state court judge in 2021 ordered the city to rewrite job qualifications for public safety supervisors following a challenge by Dix and the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 1366, and after an administrative law judge’s finding that city officials had retaliated against the union in the public safety switch.
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