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  • Philadelphia Firefighter Candidates Win Age Discrimination Claim Against the City of Philadelphia

    Galfand Berger recently won an age discrimination case brought on behalf of seven firefighter candidates removed by the City of Philadelphia because they were 40 years old or older.  The City considered them too old to hire as firefighters!  The candidates knew they could do the job.  So, they challenged the City’s decision with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission.After a long fight by Galfand Berger for our clients, the Commission ruled in the firefighter-candidates’ favor ruling that the City unlawfully discriminated against the candidates because of their age.  In fact, the Commission’s Chairman succinctly summarized the result: “Being over a certain age simply cannot be a reason to eliminate an otherwise qualified applicant.”

    Almost immediately, the City’s Fire Commissioner denounced the decision to the media stating: “One of the things that we’re sure of is that this is a job for young folks.  It’s not a job for the aged.”  (Philadelphia Inquirer, courtesy of Firefighting News, Id.)

    Ultimately, cooler heads prevailed and the City accepted the Commission’s decision. Employer-discrimination, like our fire fighter case, happens all too often. And, today, many employers are using the economic downturn as an excuse to commit age discrimination. Indeed, recent studies show an increase in age discrimination claims at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

    And, many times, age discrimination isn’t limited to job loss.  Particularly, in these economic times, employers may attempt to discriminate on age to reduce their payroll outlay – – since older workers may have greater seniority and wages than younger workers; or they may see the recession as an opportunity to deny older workers their vesting rights to pension or pension increases.  Often, such actions by an employer are illegal under federal and state law.  Let us answer any questions you might have.

    If you are a victim of employment discrimination due to your age, gender, national origin, race or for any other basis, call us at 1-800-222-8792.  We can help.