Firefighter claims mistreatment after co-worker contracts COVID-19

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Photo/Jeffrey Hastings

MANCHESTER, NH – On Thursday, allegations have been released regarding a Manchester firefighter who feels he was treated improperly during a recent incident regarding a co-worker who contracted COVID-19.

Richard McLaughlin, a 33-year veteran of the Manchester Fire Department and a resident of Ward 8, wrote to Ward 8 Alderman Ed Sapienza regarding the incident, where he claims that instead of getting workers’ compensation for the incident that occurred at work, he was forced to stay home and that time was deducted against his sick leave balance.

McLaughlin claims that other members of the Manchester Fire Department are being treated differently. He added in the e-mail that he believes that his treatment may be due to his political beliefs and city government has been non-responsive to his concerns.

Manchester Ink Link reached out on Thursday to McLaughlin for comment regarding his claims.

Requirements under the American Rescue Plan Act in place requiring to give paid time off have expired.

Shannon MacLeod, Policy Director for the Office of Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig stated on Thursday that this is a personnel matter and the city is following standard protocol by conducting an investigation into these allegations.

Manchester Ink Link has reached out for comment from Board of Mayor and Alderman Vice-Chair Pat Long regarding the claims.

Additional information will be added as it becomes available.

UPDATE: Alderman Pat Long has told Manchester Ink Link that the matter is under investigation and had nothing further to add.

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About this Author

Andrew Sylvia

Assistant EditorManchester Ink Link

Born and raised in the Granite State, Andrew Sylvia has written approximately 10,000 pieces over his career for outlets across Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. On top of that, he's a licensed notary and licensed to sell property, casualty and life insurance, he's been a USSF trained youth soccer and futsal referee for the past six years and he can name over 60 national flags in under 60 seconds according to that flag game app he has on his phone, which makes sense because he also has a bachelor's degree in geography (like Michael Jordan). He can also type over 100 words a minute on a good day.