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Two California firefighters sue city alleging age discrimination

Two former San Francisco Fire Department firefighters are suing the city of Milpitas, alleging violations of statues that protect workers from age discrimination. The firefighters had their jobs eliminated with the San Francisco Fire Department. They put their names on a list maintained by the California Fire Fighter Joint Apprenticeship Committee, which is supposed to provide a preference when open fire fighting jobs appear throughout the state.

The two men are both over 40 years of age and they had believed they would be hired by Milpitas. Instead, they allege age discrimination by the Milpitas after it hired younger fire fighters who had been laid off by the city of Stockton.

"The fact that plaintiffs were over 40 years of age and older than other applicants and potential applicants were substantial factors in (the) defendants' decisions not to hire plaintiffs," the lawsuit states. "Defendants did not hire plaintiffs for the open positions because of their age."

One difficulty with age discrimination lawsuits is that there are multiple laws and agencies that are responsible for dealing with age discrimination violations. At the federal level, there is the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). In California, the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) also prohibit age discrimination.

Complains can be filed with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), or Department of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE).

With all of these laws, it can be confusing to decide what to do. All of these statutes have time limits. An experienced California age discrimination attorney can review your facts and help you to file any complaints within the statutory deadlines.

Source: Milpitas Post, "Milpitas defends firemens' age-discrimination lawsuit," Ian Bauer, January 30, 2013

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