According to the complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, the voters of the Eaton’s Neck Fire District approved the adoption of a Length of Service Award Program (LOSAP) for the district firefighters prior to January 1, 1991. The retirement age per the LOSAP was 65, and firefighters 65 and older were not allowed to earn service credits in the program.
In January 2006, the program was amended to allow district employees age 65 and older to earn service credits; however, those employees who turned age 65 prior to January 1, 2006, still could not join the LOSAP or earn credits under the LOSAP. The EEOC said in its complaint that the district violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) by adversely affecting those employees’ eligibility to receive employee benefits due to their age.
The Commission asks in its suit that the Fire District be enjoined from engaging in further discriminating policies or practices, and that it be ordered to allow employees age 65 and older to join the LOSAP or earn service credits in the program.
The suit also seeks to make whole the service award credits and payments of those employees and former employees that were age 65 prior to January 1, 2006.
The case is EEOC v. Eaton’s Neck Fire Dist.,E.D.N.Y., No. 08-5089, 12/18/08.