Age Discrimination Lawsuit Settled For $237,072
The Mineola Fire Department will pay $237,072 to settle a class action age discrimination lawsuit which was filed on behalf of 25 firefighters by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). According to the allegations in the lawsuit the fire district refused to let volunteer firefighters over age 60 accrue credit toward a retirement pension, because of their age. The direct result was after a firefigher turned 60 they lost pension increases which is a violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA").
Because of the downturn in the economy many businesses and government agencies are looking for ways to cut costs. Discriminating against an entire class of people is not the way to balance the budget. This case should act as a shot across the bow of government that treating people over 40 differently than other employees will not be tolerated and will cost them money in the long run. In this case the 25 firefighters will get increases to their monthly retirement checks and some will get cash settlements.
“This fire department’s system in effect penalized older firefighters because of their age, and that was simply illegal,” said EEOC Acting Chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru.