Fire Department Settles EEOC Age Discrimination Suit for $237,000

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Incorporated Village of Mineola, N.Y., and the Mineola Fire Department will pay $237,072 to settle a class age discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.  The damages will be made in retroactive payments to a group of 25 firefighters who had been discriminated against based on their age and provide increased monthly pension amounts going forward to several firefighters.

The EEOC’s suit had charged that the fire district refused to let volunteer firefighters over age 60 accrue credit toward a “length of service award” (LOSAP), the equivalent of a retirement pension, because of their age.  As a result, senior firefighters lost pension amounts after they turned 60, in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), a federal law that protects workers age 40 and older from age discrimination.  The EEOC filed suit, Civil. No. 08-3973, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement.

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