NY County Sued for Age Bias over Lifeguard Firing

October 4, 2010 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has charged in a lawsuit that the Nassau County (NY) Department of Parks, Recreation and Museums illegally fired a 71-year-old lifeguard after he failed a swim test.

An EEOC news release said its suit contends that Jay Lieberfarb, a lifeguard with 50 years of experience, was suspended without pay after failing a swim test. Lieberfarb later passed the first segment of his retest, but was injured and given one week to complete the second segment of the retest.

According to the lawsuit, Nassau County fired Lieberfarb two days later before he completed the retest.

Younger lifeguards who failed the same swim test were not suspended, and some were permitted to continue working pending successful completion of the retest and no younger lifeguards were discharged for failing to pass the swim test, the EEOC contended.

The agency seeks the reinstatement of Lieberfarb as well as monetary relief for him, the adoption of policies and proce­dures to remedy and prevent age discrimination, and training on discrimination for the county’s managers and employees.