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Occupational promotion tests: age discrimination upheld for firefighters

by on October 30, 2013

From time to time our alerts pick up references to mid career tests or other thresholds which particular industries or professions introduce and that are said to discriminate against a particular age group.

This week, we noticed this item from Firehouse about a promotional exam used by the San Francisco Fire Department. Firefighters argued that the test’s answer key contained faulty information and that scores were changed by city officials in secret, without consulting the experts who prepared the key and outsiders who graded the exam. The firefighters also believed that the exam process was skewed against those who were over the age of 40.

Now a San Francisco jury has awarded 15 firefighters a total of $3.7 million after agreeing that the Fire Department had discriminated against them based on their age when they were judged to have failed this exam for lieutenant five years ago.

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