Updated 09/25/2012 09:44 PM
EEOC files lawsuit against local fire departments
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ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. -- Three Onondaga County municipalities are facing lawsuits from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The EEOC announced Tuesday that it is suing the Village of North Syracuse and the Towns of Cicero and Clay on age discrimination claims.
The commission has charged the towns and village and their fire departments with age bias against older firefighters. The departments are accused of refusing to let volunteer firefighters over the ages of 60 and 62 to accrue credit toward a "length of service award," which is the equivalent of a retirement pension.
The commission has asked the court to award the affected firefighters with any lost pension as well as monetary restitution.
Officials in both Cicero and North Syracuse say they were taken by surprise by the suit.
A member of the Cicero Fire District’s Board of Fire Commissioners says the last he had heard, they had been working on a settlement. He also says they don't plan to fight the lawsuit and that they will continue to work with the affected members.