NY Town Settles Suit over Restricting Older Worker Pensions

February 24, 2011 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – The Village of Amityville, New York, and the Amityville Fire Department will pay $209,280 to settle a class age-discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced.

The EEOC’s suit alleged that Amityville refused to let volunteer firefighters over age 65 accrue credit toward a “length of service award,” the equivalent of a retirement pension, because of their age. As a result, senior firefighters lost pension amounts after they turned 65, in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).

The agreement filed in resolution of the suit permanently eliminates an age restriction on service credit, mandates training for individuals responsible for the program and institutes an anti-discrimination policy, according to the announcement.

Further, retroactive payments will be made to 23 volunteer firefighters who had been barred from receiving credit for their service because of their age. The settlement also provides for increased monthly pension amounts for 15 of those firefighters still living.