Long Island’s Bayville Fire Department will allow volunteer firefighters to accrue length-of-service credit past age 65 as part of an age discrimination settlement with the EEOC.
The volunteers accrue service time and then receive bonuses based on that time. The payments essentially amount to a pension.
The department ran afoul of the law when it arbitrarily stopped counting service time for firefighters older than age 65. Because the practice penalized firefighters solely because of their age, it violated the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act.
Under the settlement, the department—along with the villages of Bayville, Mill Neck and Centre Island—will pay $240,000 to the firefighters. Also, the department will end the practice of not counting service time past age 65.