A former female firefighter claims she was fired from her job for posting racy photos on Instagram, Yahoo Lifestyle reports. She has since filed a lawsuit, suing her former employer for wrongful termination and gender discrimination.
Presley Pritchard, 27, has over 100,000 followers on her Instagram account. She calls herself a “fitness influencer,” and in addition to posting inspirational messages and information about her partnerships with wellness brands, she also posts photos and videos of herself at the gym and in workout attire, as well as shots of herself at the beach, at the gun range, on the ski slopes, and just random snapshots of herself here and there.
She also posted photos of herself in her firefighting gear and using firefighting equipment.
Some of those photos, particularly beach shots and snaps of her in the gym, can be considered kind of racy.
Pritchard says that she tried to keep her Instagram presence separate from her job with Kalispell, Montana’s Evergreen Fire Rescue. However, despite her efforts, beginning in around 2018 it started becoming a problem for her, she alleges.
Specifically, she says that Jack Fallon, a member of the Evergreen Fire District Board, began “raising concerns” about her Instagram presence. From there, Pritchard claims in her lawsuit, she began repeatedly getting called in to her superiors’ offices.
“It was just ongoing — they would call me in for everything. It was just always like walking on eggshells there,” she said.
She claims that she was reprimanded over 20 times for her photos on Instagram.
Additionally, she says that she was given men’s uniform pants, for reasons that remain unclear.
“Am I supposed to leave my butt at home?” she asked, per the Yahoo report.
Meanwhile, she claims that some of her male colleagues also posted photos of themselves on social media, often shirtless, but that unlike her, they were not asked to remove their photos.
“It’s just really, really hypocritical. It just sucks, because you see firefighters out here with these sexy firefighter calendars, and if females did that, they would literally be like, beaten to death,” she says.
She claims that she was ultimately fired for refusing her superiors’ directives to remove the photos, despite the fact that her department did not have a specific social media policy.
In her lawsuit, she claims that she was fired for “sexism and a double standard favoring men.”
Pritchard is not the first woman to learn the hard way that an Instagram presence that includes candid photos can work against her when it comes to employment. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, a Texas woman claimed that a potential employer denied her a job and publicly “slut-shamed” her for her photos on Instagram that showed her partying, drinking, and lounging around by the pool in her swimwear.